Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by illusions30, Oct 19, 2013.
Who do you consider the greatest female grass player of all time
I went with queen Helen Wills, winner of 15 grass majors in only 2 grass majors she ever attended.
i am sticking with Martina.
I'll second that.
No Bueno, with 7 majors on grass many during Court´s peak? I can´t believe she is not in the list.
3. Williams and Williams
5. Wills Moody
10. Evert and Goolagong
is the correct order
I voted for Navratilova, a fairly easy decision for me to make.
Billie Jean King should be on the poll as well, she won 19 or 20 titles at Wimbledon.
Martina Navratilova top place.
Court has so many wins on grass both in the pre-Open and the Open era too, while playing doubles and mixed doubles at these Grand Slams. Court has better grass court credentials than Graf, Wills Moody and Lenglen in my opinion, though Graf only had one Grand Slam each year on grass to aim for, in her prime.
Also, Billie Jean King won 11 singles Majors on grass, including 6 Wimbledons and 4 US Champs/Opens. BJK did it in singles and various doubles and is an under-appreciate champ these days as well.
Serena and Venus both have five Wimbledon singles crowns, the only Major on grass in their time. I would probably rate them higher in peak play on Wimbledon grass than some of the others, I suppose. If Serena wins another Wimbledon, I'll put her very high on my list. Serena wins in doubles too, so that's impressive.
I believe, even in Court´s domination era, that Maria Esther Bueno could have doubled her grass court titles that nowadays stands at 7 ( 3 Wimbledon and 4 Forest Hills).
All of us who still caught her in action will always believe it...
I think she would have made a healthy dent in Court's number and a made a minor impact on Kings as well, but I don't think she would have won 6 wimbledons and 8 forest Hills unless by magic, they get the injuries. Court has the better H to H vs Bueno just as she did every contemporary. The only way Maria gets 14 grass majors is by showing up in Australia more consistently as well and grabbing a couple of those or taking them away from the tier 2 women like Ann Jones.
Bueno was cruely treated by illness and injuries and that affected her so much, specially agaisnt a giant like Court.
she was on the verge of GOATDOM when injuries broke in.Hoad,Connolly,Seles and Bueno, but Seles could recover much faster so she was not that much affected by the incident.Bueno was seriously injuried, dramatically I´d say...
kiki old chum, Court did beat Bueno in the Australian Championships 1960 and 1965. Court had the advantage of one of the Slams being played in her own country, true.
Monica Seles was stabbed in the back at the age of 19 by a deranged lunatic on court. She missed two and a half years of what should have been her prime. She possibly never even realized her true potential. She was literally 'Girl, Interrupted'...What I do know was that she was winning three Grand Slam tournaments a year at the time...
The only thing similar to that I can think of was the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, the ice skater.
Bueno, very good champion too by all accounts.
It is utterly, completely and totally irrelevant why a player is unable to play in a tournament. It is utterly completely and totally relevant that a player is unable to play in a tournament. If a champion is unable to play for a year, or more because of a virus, a stabbing or fall off a horse, the tournament goes on, the season goes on and other players benefit from the loss, and someone becomes literally 'Girl Interupted"and fails to see their true potential realized. Seles, Bueno and Connolly were all very good champions by all acoounts. I'd say Connolly was a bit more secondary to her virtually perfect record.
I like Seles but when I hear people say things like she would have been the best ever without the stabbing, I realize she has become very overrated in part due to the stabbing. Even without the stabbing I would see her making it to only 5th or 6th best all time at most. Atleast 3 Wimbledons would be required to be in any consideration for best ever, and she would probably have won only 1 at the most (not even sure if she wins 1, but i will give her that as max possible) without the stabbing. I would see her reaching 15 or 16 slams at most, and that would also not be GOAT worthy.
In some odd ways while her believed all time ranking is probably lower than it would be without the stabbing, it has also made her overrated to some people who exagerrate greatly what she was likely to have become otherwise.
Anyway this is a thread about grass, and Seles has no place on a best grass thread, with or without the stabbing, that is for sure. Bueno is atleast appropriate to a best grass conversation, but I agree with the OP not including her on the poll, as winning 7 grass majors in an era 3 were contested, is still not nearly enough to be in the league of Navratilova, Graf, the Williams sisters, Court, King, Wills, or Lenglen on the surface.
The biggest thing about the Seles stabbing is that Graf would probably not be the considered the best ever which by the vast majority of people she is today. So it had a bigger effect on Graf than anything, as Seles was never going to be a strong GOAT contender, but Graf is probably more secure in that title than she would be otherwise.
Back to the thread topic I am surprised Navratilova doesnt have all the votes. She won 9 Wimbledons. That is more than Wills who only won 8 with pre historic dinosaur age competition. More than Graf who won 7 in a weak grass era where Seles, Sanchez, Sabatini, all not great grass courters, were her biggest competition, along with grass courter headcase Novotna. Williams sisters probably had more competition but each won only 5 so far which is not enough. So how does anyone not pick Martina.
BTURNER, I see your point, and I've seen you take people to task about it before too, but kiki did seem to be downplaying the attack on Seles in his post above, while at the same time saying Bueno suffered injuries and illnesses. I'm sure Bueno was a fine champion who was a bit unlucky with injuries, illness etc.
I think kiki can answer for himself though. He knows a lot about tennis.
Of course a season and tournament history goes on...do you expect it to stop?!? Injuries, illnesses, even stabbings (in rare cases) do happen. Other players do indeed benefit. Did tennis stop after Borg retired? Nope. Players have always benefited from others injuries, illnesses, retirements etc.
The likes of the attacks on Seles and Kerrigan should play no part in sport at all and are, thankfully, very rare. I'm sure we can agree on that, BTURNER.
Little Mo Connolly was a great champion in her day according to the experts who saw her. Her career was cut short by a riding accident. Monica Seles did come back again to compete at top level and won the AO 96.
And of course, Court did beat Bueno in the Australian Championships in 1960 and 1965, which was initially my main point. Margaret was certainly Queen of the Aussie Courts, her home championships. Margaret liked grass courts to play on, it's fair to say...
Court was a great grass court player, but her # of grass slams is far inflated not only by 3 grass slams, but 11 of them coming at the sparsely attended Australian Open. I have no idea how one would rank her ahead of Navratilova, or even probably Graf and the Williams sisters with say 9 or 7 Wimbledons to a measley 3 for Court. Wimbledon is by far the biggest grass tournament, even in the era there were multiple grass slams. Nobody who dissapointed so far there, could ever be the grass GOAT.
She probably isnt even top 12 all time at Wimbledon, but her record at the other grass events are enough to put her top 8 all time on grass, maybe top 6. For sure not top 3 though.
robertharris, who are you addressing?
Court was a great grass court player, but Navratilova is my pick as best grass court player.
It's all stated above.
I basically agree.
Court is a grass player definition.And, unlike Navratilova won a GRAN SLAM (in 1970)
BTURNER, you're a good poster and even if we may not always agree on things all the time, I respect your opinions.
I am not addressing anyone in particular. I just notice Court is one of only 3 people with multiple votes so far, and various posters arguing about where she ranks on grass. I am just giving my views, that she would only be in the 5-8 range for me.
Navratilova of course. No one else is even close.
Of course, but that is primarily because if you can win the French, Aussie and Forest Hills year after year, you are a lot more likely to get that slam, than if you fail to show at the Aussie a lot of the time, and have trouble winning the ultimate clay event..
Its what Margaret could do in Paris that truly distinguishes her from so many great serve/volleyers.
You see, I bow to no one in my sense of outrage and empathy with respect to results of that cowardly attack. It must be absolutely psychologically devastating for Seles in a way no injury or illness could ever be. The impact on Monica is similar to that Nancy Kerrigan attack. The sense of betrayal, rage, fear and confusion associated with the venue of your greatest feelings of accomplishment, pride and joy is something no injury can engender. It is remarkable she came back at all, let alone win a major and stay in the top ten for so long.
But that is all about Monica's personal journey, not the journey tennis marches to. The draws, the tournaments the opponents move the same, regardless of that sick man and his act, and I want them to! It shows no great love for the game or even Monica, to diminish what everyone else accomplished on tour during her struggle. It allows him to victimize even more.
Yeah, BTURNER, but thing is, the discussion is not about Monica Seles at all, so she should not be made the focus.
The topic is about best woman grass court player. Someone else mentioned Seles first. She is not on the grass radar at all.
This topic is not about Seles or Court or Bueno as such.
Martina number one for me in this discussion.
The Australian is one of the 4 events required to win the Holy Grial.So, if you don´t go there, don´t complain,it is your problem.
I agree with what Maggie was able at Roland, she even beat Evert in one of the finals.
...and Court had to play four all time greats on grass: Bueno,King,Evert and Goolagong.
Navratilova had to play three: Goolagong ( declining), Evert and Graf 8 not yet in her prime), because King was old enough and Hana never fulfilled her promises, as I painfully admit.
Evert wasn't that great of a grass courter, when Margaret lost to her in 1973 Wimbledon or when Margaret beat her in 73 Open. I think you are in better shape using Darlene Hard than Evert back then.
This is the part I was probably referring to when you thought I was addressing you earlier. This IMO is totally wrong. A women with only 3 Wimbledons in no way has "better grass court credentials" than women who have won 8 or 7 Wimbledons. Wimbledon is the main grass barometer, which is why Martina is winning this poll. Wills Moody too has won 15 combined Wimbledon and U.S Opens on grass too, vs only 8 for Court.
I think ranking Court 5th or 6th all time on grass is already generous enough.
I am not going to get into the ranking mode here. But you have to recognise that this was the woman with a winning head to head vs every woman of her generation, and this this was an era full of many of the greatest grass-courters ever, and grass was the surface of the era. Eaach major played on a grass, was as different as Har-Tru was from red clay. While Wimbledon was her weaker major, there was no player she did not beat on her way to one of those three victories or her other final/semifinal showings.
While you may sneer at her dominance on the grass down under with a lot of justification, you are ignoring 6 wins at the Forest Hills or minimizing what those mean. Whatever your love affair with Centre Court, Forest Hills was a damn close second in prestige during that era. So assuming that each major provides a slightly different challenge because the grass courts behaved rather differently and the grass itself was very different, with Forest Hills and Wimbledon providing by far the greatest test in terms of competition. She dominated two of three grass venues and was more than proficient at the third. That kind of mastery of all kinds of grass courts, including the slower higher bouncing ones of Australia are a very big deal, players like Serena and Graf could never show. In a peculiar way, Court's disparity between Wimbledon and the other two, underscores how very different results can be, depending on the courts, and grass.
She had a chance that the other contenders in the thread had, secondary to a smaller window of time when transportation made it practical, and the tour made it possible but she grabbed those reins better than anyone else, including Bueno, King and Hard and many others.
I agree the U.S Open on grass was also very important back then, which is why I pointed out Wills managed a combined 15 Wimbledons and U.S Opens on grass, vs only 8 for Court. Court managed 5 U.S Opens on grass, not 6, and 3 Wimbledons along with 5 U.S Opens on grass still does not overall compare to Graf's 7 Wimbledons on grass in performance either. Even Court's arch rival Billie Jean King managed more Wimbledon and U.S Open titles on grass combined (10) than Court could (8). Given that I think she should only rank roughly about where King does at most, which is somewhere just outside the top 5 probably.
Sorry about the misstatement of fact.. Now show how King did vis a vis a head to head vs Court on grass. Include the rest of the grass tour and lets include Australian. You can only marginalize the Australian so much. Any great grass courter should show great results on more than english grass right? You can't pretend the Aussie wasn't even played. At the Aussie King and Court met three times. Court won two of them. At Wimbledon, they met 5 times and Court won 3 of them. At Forest Hills they met twice and split them.
Here are the career w/l percentages at the Australian, Wimbledon and at the US National/ Open.. At the Aussie first. For Court it is 95% in 13 appearances (43-2) compared with 75% in 5 appearances (12-4) for Billie Jean. Billie Jean decided to show up in 82 and 83, well past her prime but still seeded in the top ten. Her call, her risk to her legacy and her losses.
At Wimbledon Court's w/l percentage was 85% in 12 appearances (51-9) while King's numbers were 86% in 21 appearances (95-15). why is there only 1% difference between one of the greatest wimbledon champions with 6 wins and someone on 'tier two' with only 3? Because while both only once each failed to make it to the QF, King failed to get past the QF's 6 times, and Court failed to get past the QF 3 times. Again King extended her career by choice too long and it impacts her legacy and record as a great grass-courter.
At the US championships the w/l percentage figures are virtually useless because it includes the clay and hard court appearances as well. Lets just talk about what happened through 1974. Court appeared 10 years and won it in half those appearances. She was a RU once, a semifinalist twice and stopped in the QF one other time. She was never defeated earlier. King played it 9 times and won it 4 times, slightly less than half. She was RU twice, was on two occasions stopped in the QF's and once stopped in R16. In every sense Court's record is actually superior, and because the tournament changed surface either Court or King aged, it better shows peak performance if you are one of those people.
Now Graf's Wimbledon record is statistically sublime at 91% w/l percentage in 14 appearances. It includes 3 losses before she reached the QF, but then virtually nothing but championships. My problems with her are twofold. First she played in an era of great clay-courters but tier 2 grass-courters. She beat an aging but still great Martina in 88 '89, but then it was Sabatini, Seles, a collapsing Novatna, and Sanchez Vicario twice. Only one of those four latter women ever got to another Wimbledon final This was not the era of Bueno, King, Goolagong, Wade or Ann Hayden Jones here.
Of course my second problem is one she could do little about as well. She had no chance to prove her dominance on grass courts outside of the damp soggy grass of England except for two appearances in the Aussie when she was still using a pacifier. Court and King and even Navratilova to a lesser degree, did.
Of these four, I put Navratilova first, then Court, then King by a hair over Graf.
I agree here.No need to take anything away from Margaret to enhance Navratilova.
And the AO was a GS then just like today...
and the big question still remains unanswered...how many more grass slams for Maria Esther had she kept on playing while still at her prime?
That would have changed, maybe, the whole course of tennis history.
Just like 10 yrs before with Maureen Connolly
and maybe ( but I doubt it), just like 30 yrs later with Monica Seles
Billie Jean King
As I've already pointed out, Martina Navratilova is my choice as top grass court player.
It would be pretty close between Court and Graf in my list, but Margaret Court was a great grass court champion in the era of three grass Majors a year and has the Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon, the US and in Australia to be placed above Graf. Wills Moody played a very long time ago. Like I say, Court has the grass court credentials.
Billie Jean King has 6 Wimbledon singles victories, 4 US singles crowns and an Australian as I've previously pointed out.
You can put Court where you want on your own list.
Lenglen,Bueno,Connolly,Marble,Osborne,Hart,Brough,Lambert,Wills,Court,King,Navratilova,Graf with a serious consideration for Evert,Goolagong,Wade,Mandlikova and the two Williams.
Separate names with a comma.