Greatest female tennis player ever

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by anointedone, Apr 24, 2009.

?

Greatest female tennis player of all time

  1. Steffi Graf

    50.0%
  2. Margaret Court

    10.0%
  3. Martina Navratilova

    25.0%
  4. Chris Evert

    5.0%
  5. Maureen Connoly

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Helen Wills Moody

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Suzanne Lenglen

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Billie Jean King

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Monica Seles

    6.7%
  10. Serena Williams

    3.3%
  1. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I decided to remake this poll as my poll options in the other thread were a bit poorly arranged with Lenglen/Wills sharing a category, etc.... Plus it makes no sense to have an "other" option as a vote for anyone other than these 10 would just be stupid anyway.
     
    #1
  2. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    4,655
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I voted for Margaret Court.
     
    #2
  3. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,060
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    My vote goes to Navratilova.
     
    #3
  4. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689
    Graf without a doubt.
     
    #4
  5. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I guess you are a big fan of the 90s all around. :)
     
    #5
  6. GameSampras

    GameSampras Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    4,689


    Graf alone has more slams than the WS combined. LOL.. Thats Dominance right there my friend.

    When you look at the slam count and overral results , no player can sniff Graf's skirt. Shes head and shoulders above the rest and its not really even debatable at least statistic wise. She is the GOAT among the GOATS
     
    #6
  7. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,541
    Location:
    Sweden
    Navratilova gets my vote for the women's GOAT.


    If everyone plays at their potential with 100% dedication to the game and 100% healthy, Serena Williams with her mighty serve will destroy the legends.
     
    #7
  8. Chelsea_Kiwi

    Chelsea_Kiwi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,526
    Seles would of been easily the GOAT had the stabbing not occured.
     
    #8
  9. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    That is why you didnt even vote for her. :twisted: Also Court, Graf, Navratilova, Evert, Wills Moody all have more slams than the WS combined. :)
     
    #9
  10. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    She would have needed atleast 2 Wimbledons to even be in contention for the GOAT. Even 1 would not have been enough, not in the womens game where the greatest players all win each major multiple times, something Graf herself had done even before the Seles stabbing as well.
     
    #10
  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    steffi Graf
     
    #11
  12. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,109
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    She gets mine as well
     
    #12
  13. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    boredone, not to start a big problem, but I just don't get how someone with 2 RG titles, 1 Italian and no Germans gets GOAT over the likes of Graf, Court, and Wills. Her slow court credentials just don'tt cut it!
     
    #13
  14. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    I am mixed on Martina on clay. I think Martina was truly a great clay court player in her prime from 1982-1987. She was incredibly hard for even Graf and Evert to beat when they played her at the French, and the 2 years she won she was dominant. Before her prime though she wasnt even a particularly good clay courter, while on other surfaces she was already excellent even in the years before her prime.
     
    #14
  15. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,109
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Hey man I have no problems, I respect your opinion, I just happen to have a different one is all, I don't feel insulted or anything. I give Navratilova a lot of credit for dethroning Evert (well maybe thats not exactly the best word, but Nav was the one who really halted Evert's dominance of the top spot). Plus with Evert around on clay it was hard, Navrtilova was the second best Clay Court player in 85 & 86 and had Evert not been around those years I feel Martina would have won both of those French Opens because Graf was not yet where she could be a threat, especialy since she thrashed Evert in 1984, had Evert retired that year, Martina probably wins the french in 1985 and 1986, bringing that total to 4.

    But, I feel during Martina's best years she selectively chose a schedule that played to her strengths, so she focused on faster courts, know whether that was to avoid Evert or just to increase she chances of winning points or to make sure she could keep the number 1 spot or whatever, she didn't play a lot of clay court events.

    At the end of the day, I still go with Martina, if you disagree, well then we just have a respectful difference of opinion since I have several posts by you on this subject, you have a very good base for your opinion, but I still have mine.
     
    #15
  16. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,608
    Location:
    OREGON
    Martina enjoyed playing on clay and she played a lot of clay tournaments. I saw absolutely inspiring tennis from her on dirt. She actually grew up playing on the stuff. Navratilova has some great victories to brag about. Nevertheless she has the worst record of any of the contenders for GOAT on clay excepting Connolly who career was cut so short.
     
    #16
  17. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    We will never know, but I personally doubt it. Her grass court record would have been insufficient IMO, and her longevity I dont really feel would have been all that great given her rather uninspiring comeback attempt.
     
    #17
  18. crabgrass

    crabgrass Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    are we gonna keep making these polls until eventually someone other than graf tops it?
     
    #18
  19. julesb

    julesb Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    488
    Monica Seles by far. She has the hardest hitting ever, the most determination, the biggest serving, the best movement.
     
    #19
  20. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    1,603
    You are spot on! Thanks.
     
    #20
  21. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,581
    I agree and I would like to bring up one other point - dominating and being dominated.

    Connelly was never dominated by another player
    Court was never dominated by another player
    Wills was never dominated by another player
    Graf was never dominated by another player
    Seles was never dominated by another player.

    Yes, they lost to other players but no-one, at any time during their viable careers (Viable = not counting those years such as Court when she was playing part-time, Seles as a child and after her comeback, Navratilova when she was past her best mid-30's and her comeback at 40, Graf when she first joined the tour as a child, Evert when was 34, Austin after her back injury, etc) was able to dominate them. Graf and Seles pretty much split things, not counting their matches after Seles' comeback or in her first few matches as a 16 year old.

    However,

    Navratilova was dominated by Evert,
    Evert was dominated by Navratilova (could argue also briefly by Austin)

    The greatest players of all time are NEVER dominated by any other player. At the very worst they would have split their matches (win one, lose one) BUT they would never have gone through periods where another player was able to beat them every time they played, or close enough to it. That's why Evert doesn't rate with Court, Connolly, Graf or Wills. That's also why I don't believe that Navratilova deserves to be rated with them. Seles is the wildcard but I can't put Evert ahead of her.

    Personally, I think that the best of all time is either Steffi Graf or Margaret Court. As an all-around player Court is streets ahead (Navratilova would be the only one to match her) but, as singles players, I wouldn't split them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
    #21
  22. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Lenglen was also never dominated by anyone.
     
    #22
  23. julesb

    julesb Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Messages:
    488
    I agree with AndrewD. No player who is dominated by anyone in their primes can be a real candidate for greatest ever. I think the main candidates for greatest ever are the following women:

    Monica Seles
    Virginia Wade
    Nancy Richey
    Justine Henin

    None of these 4 women was ever dominated by anyone in their primes. That is why they are the 4 main candidates for greatest ever for me.
     
    #23
  24. Chelsea_Kiwi

    Chelsea_Kiwi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,526
    Well she would of won it because remember in 1992 Wimbledon (despite being wasted) she made the final and obviously she couldn't compete in the next one. I don't think she would of won tons of Wimbledons but maybe 1-3. Remember she won 8 GS by the age of 19 and in the womens game they often don't die out like in the mens game so I think an age comparison is more meaningful in terms of how she would of developed. Also remember many said Nadal would never win Wimbledon then said he would never win a HC Slam. I think she would of developed her game enough to win a few.
     
    #24
  25. maximo

    maximo Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    London
    Why no Justine Henin as a poll option??
     
    #25
  26. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    Graf is not the GOAT. Not even close. Did you forget Seles stabbing?
    You can't be the GOAT when your competition is violently removed from the tennis court by your fans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
    #26
  27. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    Quoted for absolute truth.
     
    #27
  28. Chelsea_Kiwi

    Chelsea_Kiwi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,526
    Tbh it could be said that Seles "prime" was more of a pre-prime considering she was only 18-19. Though obviously we couldn't tell if she was going to get better though I would say she probably would of given her age
     
    #28
  29. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    Yes sadly we never saw Seles in her prime.
     
    #29
  30. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    Nadal's greatest asset on grass by far is that he is just an amazing overall athlete. Seles is not this and never was this. None of Monica's many greatest strengths that made her such a great player are that effective or rewarded on grass other than possibly the return of serve. However she actually doesnt neccessarily return that well on grass (despite being possibly considered the greatest returner of serve ever on other surfaces) since opponents with a good slice serve can expose her two hands on the return like on no other surface. Luckily for her the only ones she played at Wimbledon 92 who can hit that serve were Graf in the final, and a way over the hill Navratilova in the semis. I am not even sure she would have made the Wimbledon final that year had Sabatini or Capriati been in her half instead of Graf's. Keep in mind both those players outperformed the aging Martina at Wimbledon 91 when all 3 were in the same half, and both played her very tough on other favorite surfaces at the time which were also Monica's favorites (Sabatini on clay, Capriati on hard courts). An aging Martina where she saw a target often and didnt have to hit alot of balls was a better matchup for her on grass than another top baseliner. I actually think serve-volleyers are her preferred matchup by far on grass, and as it turned out her 92 draw was almost all serve-volleyers until running into mostly baseliner/somewhat all courter Graf in the final.

    As for reaching the Wimbledon final at 18, I believe Hana Mandlikova reached the Wimbledon final at only 18 as well but as you probably know she never won Wimbledon. While Seles is no doubt a superior player to Mandlikova, I am not so sure she is a superior grass court player at 18 or was going to be a superior grass court player to Hana period. Hana also beat a 24 year old Martina in the a 3 sets semi to reach that Wimbledon final, not a 35 year old in 3 sets as Monica did.

    I still believe Seles would have reached more Wimbledon finals without the stabbing, not many more but atleast a couple more. Whether she would have won any I am not so sure. I would favor Graf, Novotna, or Hingis all over her in a Wimbledon final. I am not even going to mention Davenport, Venus, Serena whom I obviously would as well, as the idea of Monica still being a real contender on grass as late as 99-2002 is laughable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
    #30
  31. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    ^^^^ What about Conchita Martinez over Seles in Wimbledon final? Interesting that you somehow "forgot" to mention her.

    The fact that Martinez won Wimbledon during the time Seles was out, clearly goes for argument that Seles would have won Wimbledon.
     
    #31
  32. DMan

    DMan Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    923
    I am *still* waiting for a comment by gj or Jules in which they don't use the words "would have" "could have" or "should have" when discussing what actually happened.
     
    #32
  33. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    I have a news for you. Stabbing actually happened and it actually had a great effect on both Graf's and Seles' careers.
     
    #33
  34. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,180
    Well if you are of the belief Seles would have still been ranked #1 going into Wimbledon 1994, and I am going to presume you are given my familiarity of your viewpoints on this already, then the draw of Wimbledon 1994 would have been completely different anyway. Graf if seeded #2 would have never been drawn to play Lori McNeil, and in that case probably just romps to the title like she does almost every other year. With the draw different someone like Jana Novotna may have been around for the final as well. Novotna was unlucky to run into an old Martina who is her idol and she basically could never get up to play, even when we reached the point in time Jana had become the better player in Martinas old age. There is no gaurantee it is only Conchita Martinez that Seles would have had to beat.

    Also how do we really know how Seles would do vs Conchita Martinez on grass. The two have never played on grass. Yes Seles owns on non-grass surfaces, but playing Monica on grass is nothing like playing her on hard courts or clay. Just ask not only Steffi Graf, but Zina Garrison, Katerina Studenikova, and Natasha Zvereva.
     
    #34
  35. DMan

    DMan Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    923
    Darling, still bitter after all these years?!

    My next pity party is all for you!
     
    #35
  36. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,109
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Monica- Never technically domianted by anyone, though trailed H2H with Graf, but cannot be given the GOAT based on a what if.

    Wade- Wade was dominated H2H by quite a few people, such as Evert (Evert Lead 40-6), King (King Lead 22-9, counting open era numbers only), Navratilova (Nav lead 18-6) and Goolagong (Goolagong lead 30-10). those are 4 women who dominated Wade so she was domianted by several people during her prime. Plus Wade only has 3 slams, no where near enough for GOAT

    Richey- only 2 slams, not good enough for GOAT, and lost 2 slam finals to far superior players of the 60's in straight sets, Bueno and Court. She beat Ann Haydon Jones and Lesley Turner Bowry for her two slams, tough opponents, but she lost to tougher ones.

    Henin- only 7 slams, probably a good 3 or 4th tier all time great at best, had she stayed who knows, but as of now 7 slams and no career slam = not GOAT.
     
    #36
  37. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    You forgot Court. I am pretty sure her head to head vs Wade is dominant too. I would guess Bueno and Ann Jones too if Wade even played them enough.
     
    #37
  38. xusu

    xusu New User

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    definitely,Serena Williams
    Who can beat Serena?
     
    #38
  39. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    In Grand Slams during her time period winning her thus far 10. Well among some of those would be Elena Likhovtseva, Jennifer Capriati (4 times in only 7 slam meetings from 2001-2004), 17 year old Maria Sharapova, Jill Craybas, Daniela Hantuchova, Justine Henin (3 for 3 on 3 different surfaces in 2007 slam meeting), Jelena Jankovic, and Katerina Srebtonik. That is even while missing alot of the slam events with injury.
     
    #39
  40. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,573
    So having actual competition is a guarantee that you can't be the GOAT? Interesting perspective.
     
    #40
  41. CANADIAN763

    CANADIAN763 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Anyone but Serena Williams
     
    #41
  42. tennis-hero

    tennis-hero Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,090
    Location:
    uk
    http://chrisevert.net/CE-Navratilova.html

    Martina cannot ever be considered GOAT imo


    I used to think Seles was a glorifed joke who got way too much respect for being stabbed

    however, looking back to her game, i see just how good it actually was... and i as long as you watch seles on mute you see a girl who definately coulda/woulda/shoulda been GOAT, and coulda/woulda/shoulda dominated Steffi
     
    #42
  43. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,903
    It's nice to see the babbons are still running around here.

    I guees it's true....

    "Baboons don't die... they just multiply!!!!!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
    #43
  44. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Messages:
    997
    Looking more closely at the BIG NUMBER, total # of majors...

    The four contenders in my mind are Graf, Court, Navratilova, and Evert. I am going to base my choice on the total # of major titles, but not the absolute number which ranks them as follows:

    Court 24
    Graf 22
    Navratilova 18
    Evert 18

    That number does not allow for a fair comparison. So, I am going to query the number as follows:

    Query#1: Counting no more than 4 titles at their best major, this is how they rank:

    Graf 19
    Court 17
    Evert 15
    Navratilova 13

    Query #2: Counting only as many titles at each major as the lowest number of titles won at any one major, this is how they rank:

    Graf 16
    Court 12
    Evert 8*
    Navratilova 8

    *Evert's lowest number of major titles came at the AO. If we want to reflect the fact that she missed many AO titles over her career, we could base her total on the next lowest number of major wins. That would be Wimbledon at 3 titles. Thus, her total would be 11. We could do the same for Navratilova, but it would make no difference since her next lowest total is 2 major titles at the French Open, the same number of AO titles she won.

    Now, let's take the major totals and break them down by surface. In historical order...

    Court
    5 Clay
    19 Grass

    Evert
    10 Clay
    5 Grass
    3 DecoTurf

    Navratilova
    2 Clay
    12 Grass
    4 DecoTurf

    Graf
    4 Rebound Ace
    6 Clay
    7 Grass
    5 DecoTurf

    Because of surface changes at the US Open and AO, the only two surfaces common to all four are clay and grass.

    Query #3: Thus, let's calculate the percentage of majors on each of these two surfaces and rank them according to how close those percentages are:

    Graf 32% on grass and 27% on clay
    Evert 28% on grass and 56% on clay
    Navratilova 67% on grass and 11% on clay
    Court 79% on grass and 21% on clay

    The two majors that have never changed from one surface to another of a different kind are Wimbledon and the French.

    Query #4: Therefore, let's count the number of titles at both of those events and rank them accordingly:

    Graf 13
    Navratilova 11
    Evert 10
    Court 8

    Query #5: Finally, counting only as many titles at Wimbledon and the French as the lowest number of majors they won at any one of these two majors, this is how they rank:

    Graf 12
    Court 6
    Evert 6
    Navratilova 4

    Each query was designed to correct for any random variations of a historical or situational nature in the absolute number. For instance, Query #5 was meant to demonstrate consistency across all majors whose surfaces were common to all four. The results of this query rank Graf first. In fact, Graf ranks first in all the queries, including the last three which are the most significant. Graf is the greatest female tennis player ever.
     
    #44
  45. 380pistol

    380pistol Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,903
    But Graf getting Ruebella (German measles) ACTUALLY happened Graf having personal problems and facing jail time ACTUALLY happened. Steffi suffering from injuires Aduring 7 slam in 9 overall ACTUALLY happened. Seles going 1-3 vs Graf during a period where she won 6 of 7 slams she entered ACTUALLY happened.

    Now are you are you going to address these things that ACTUALLY happened??? No, in your world AKA "the mind of a buffoon", omly things that ACTUALLY happened to Seles are allowed to be discussed.

    So until you are ready to discuss EVERYTHING that ACTUALLY happeened.... close your mouth!!! Comprende!!!!
     
    #45
  46. gj011

    gj011 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,548
    Location:
    Back from prison
    Wow. Comparing a mild disease that is cured in a week or two and Graf's and her father's tax cheating, to the act of extreme violence on THE TENNIS COURT BY GRAF'S SUPPORTER which ruined Seles career and handed Graf 5-8 slams on a plate is just silly and comical. Toolworthy.

    Also "facing jail time" happened after stabbing, not before (in 1995-96 actually).
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
    #46
  47. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    That is an interesting query but it doesnt take into account some other possible factors such as dominant years, consistency of results, and longevity.
     
    #47
  48. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,060
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    There's also never been another instance where two possible GOAT candidates played against one another in their primes for such a long period of time and that has to be taken into account. Lenglen and Wills had ZERO competition while they played, they hardly ever even lost a set or even three game in a set. They are great players but don't compare to the modern era.
     
    #48
  49. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,594
    I almost wonder if Lenglen quit after 1926 only because she didnt want a rivalry with Wills. I even read her father forbid her to play Wills. I guess it was a foreign idea for either women to play someone of actual comparable talent and ability to each other. At the time it was simply an unheard of concept for players as great as them. One reason I almost feel Wills should rank over Lenglen is it seems she wasnt scared of Wills. Wills purposely went to that event in France to seek out Lenglen in a tournament and play her, and apparently wanted to play her even before then. Apparently Lenglen was panicked about it too.
     
    #49
  50. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,060
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    I would put Wills over Lenglen myself, but they are far and away the best two players pre WWII. No one else even comes remotely close to ther type of domination but that's because there wasn't anyone who could. One can only play who's there though.
     
    #50

Share This Page