Is Graf the best female player ever on all surfaces

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafforehand, Oct 4, 2013.

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Is Graf the best female player ever on all surfaces

  1. No, Graf is GOAT overall but not best ever on any surface

    14.6%
  2. Graf is best ever on some surfaces, but not all 4

    31.3%
  3. Yes, Graf is the best ever on every surface

    54.2%
  1. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    It is commonly accepted Graf is the best women tennis player of all time. Is she the best on all surfaces though- clay, grass, carpet, and hard courts.

    Her competition for best ever on clay is Evert, for best ever on grass is Navratilova, for best ever on carpet is Navratilova, and for best ever on hard courts is Serena.

    I would say yes though. She is the best women player ever on each surface.

    Grass- Averaged 7 grass slams per grass slam. Navratilova averaged only 6 (9 Wimbledon, 3 Australian).

    Clay- 6 French Opens but played in a way tougher clay era than Evert who won only 1 more with 7. Prime Graf would also never lose a French Open final to Navratilova 6-3, 6-1, or fail to beat Navratilova in straight sets once in 5 meetings at Roland Garros.

    Carpet- Navratilova literally had no competition here. Indoors was Evert's worst surface by far. Graf faced Navratilova, Seles, Sabatini, Hingis, and Davenport for years, all phenomenal indoor players (IMO all better indoor players than Evert).

    Hard Courts- Serena has 1 more major but her massive inconsistency on the surface keeps her beneath Graf for now.
     
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  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Graf excelled on all types of surfaces and she has a claim.But there have been grass courters like Bueno or Court not inferior to her, Evert was just as good on clay, Connolly dominated all the surfaces but was injuried so soon, Lenglen could play perfect tennis on any turf, maybe even on sand.Hard to tell.
     
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  3. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    I think if anyone is the grass court GOAT over Graf it would be Court and not Navratilova. Navratilova's Australian Open record which included losses in her prime and peak years to slumping Evert, Sukova, Turnbull past her prime Mandilikova, and 34 year old Evert, reflect her inability to be nearly as dominant on slower speeds of grass, and how fortunate she was to play in a more Wimbledon heavy era than born 10 years earlier when there were more all speeds of grass and 3 slams on different speed grasses like Court, Bueno, and King dealt with.

    Court is so underrated in general by people. I think it is because she is a homophobe, and people care about that more than her tennis.
     
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I can´t agree more.Graf never faced a true grass courter other than post prime Martina and post peak Mandlikova.Court played
    Bueno,King,Goolagong,Wade and young Naratilova and the excellent Chris Evert of the 70´s.

    I fully agree Court is a target for many people here.I remember how impressive she was even in her 30´s.
     
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  5. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Didnt Court win 3 slams aged 31 in one of her last years. That is amazing. Even as a Graf fan I take my hat off to that as Graf herself retired just after turning 30. People marvel at Navratilova as a late bloomer but she never achieved something close to that either. She won only 1 slam total after turning 31, despite playing full time into her 40s. The only one who comes close to that level of achievement at that age is Serena, but she does it in a super weak era.
     
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yah, Serena´s current time is a complete joke.
     
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  7. Fedinkum

    Fedinkum Hall of Fame

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    I always thought Graf was so dominating with her forehand, serve and speed, she pretty much played the same type of game on all surfaces. Is not like she specialised in a surface, she was just way above her peers at the time.
     
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  8. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    True, but that doesnt mean she cant be the best potentially on all surfaces. Being great on a surface does not require changing your game for each surface. Heck very few players do that anyway, including the greats. Some just have games more suited to some surfaces than others. Graf's game is basically perfect for almost every surface:

    Clay- Can hang in long rallies with best of them like Evert and Seles, has the firepower to hit right through the clay, has good feel and drop shots, and strong point construction and shot slection, and her unbelievable movement, fitness are a huge asset on clay. Also grew up on clay so knows how to slide beautifully.

    Grass- Huge serve and forehand are great assets on the fast grass. Was a very good volleyer, and her slice backhand is one of various excellent approach shots in her arsenal. Slice backhand also great in baseline rallies, and slice serve is very effective on grass. Huge athleticsm and explosive first steps and speed key on the fast grass

    Hard Courts- Impeccable all around game is perfect for hard courts. No real weakness in Graf's game, along with the weapons, athleticsm, and ball striking to dominate.
     
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  9. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Graf a good volleyer?
     
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  10. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Not by my definition. When I look at GOAT, I do not carve out a peak or a prime out of the professional career. I include every match they played from day one through their last day I view consistency, peak performance, and versatility as all equally meritorious.

    I don't decide that quality of competition matters on clay, but it doesn't matter on grass. I don't create faux stats like 'average 7 grass slams per grass slam.', cherry pick matches or scores to make other look bad, or hypothesize about what Graf might or might not have done in finals she did not play.

    This is more like baiting, than real solid analysis. You don't need to exaggerate Graf's competition and marginalize others competition or manipulate stats when it comes to Graf. She sure doesn't need it.

    Graf was the second or third best grasscourter of all time behind Navratilova and maybe Court, the second best claycourter of all time behind Evert, and but she might well be the best hardourter of all time. We'll see what Serena does.

    Graf takes more complete post- match showers than Evert , and walks with more dignity on changeovers Martina though!
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I find the choices in the poll confusing versus the thread title.

    I would say yes, she is the best on all surfaces, but not the best on every surface.

    There is a difference between all and every.
     
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  12. Chico

    Chico Banned

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    No. Just no, to all three options in the poll.

    Grass - Navratilova
    Clay - Evert (would have been Seles if not for stabbing)
    Hard - Serena
    Carpet - Navratilova
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
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  13. Amelie Mauresmo

    Amelie Mauresmo Banned

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    Graf was not the best on clay she lost to Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario on the clay courts. If you look at the 1990s French Open titles they were almost all split between Seles, Sanchez Vicario, and Graf. Arantxa and Monica were EQUAL to Graf on the clay she wasn't better then them at all. Sanchez Vicario gave Graf her worst loss at a grand slam 6-0 6-2 at the 1991 French Open in the semifinals.
     
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  14. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Evert is my number 1 on clay. Seles had won 3 straight Roland Garros titles coming into 93. Seles had won 3 out of the 4 Slams a year for 91 and 92, plus the year-end WTA Championships too and had won the AO 93. No way is Steffi above Chrissie on clay, given her losses to Seles and Sanchez Vicario. On grass, Martina and Margaret Court have a claim to be above Graf for wins on the green stuff overall and on indoor carpet, Martina has a good shout too. Steffi may, or may not be, the greatest player ever, but she is not the best ever on each surface, in my opinion.
     
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  15. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Saying Sanchez is equal to Graf on any surface is a joke. What stat does she compare to Graf on clay. Clay head to head she is way behind. Roland Garros head to head she is behind 3-2. Roland Garros titles she is way behind. Clay court titles she is way behind. Competition is same, they played in the exact same era.

    Sanchez is equal to Graf on clay based on what. That she grunts louder and wears an ugly ball clipper.
     
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  16. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    I certainly hope you arent suggesting Seles and even Sanchez wouldnt have given Evert massive difficulty on clay as well. Evert in her prime lost a Roland Garros final 6-3, 6-1 to Navratilova (who probably isnt even a top 10 clay courter of all time), and in 5 tries never beat Navratilova in straight sets, and got spanked badly by her twice. A 15 year old tour rookie Sanchez who was unseeded spanked #3 seed Evert out of her last Roland Garros in 1988. Neither was in their prime, but one can just tell by their rankings who was closer. Prime Evert at Roland Garros lost to Jaeger and Mandilikova who are much weaker clay courters than Seles or Sanchez. Prime Evert lost 2 matches in the same year to Andrea Jaeger on clay, including a spaking in the RG semis.

    Look at the people Evert faced on clay during her 125 match win streak on clay- other than Goolagong who was a decent clay courter, the rest were Ruzica, Mima Jacousevec, Tomova. Graf, Henin, Seles, Lenglen, and about 5 others in their primes would have gone on a 125 or longer unbeaten streak on clay vs that crop too.
     
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  17. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    To call this a "false stat" is a joke. It is a fact there are periods in tennis history there were 3 grass slams, 2 grass slams, or 1 grass slam. This is not a faux information, it is an undeniable fact. Are we supposed to ignore that and just list the number of grass slams period. Well in that case why would anyone say either Navratilova or Graf is the grass GOAT. Court has 19 grass slams, way more than even Navratilova has. The only accurate way to even compare over time in eras that had 3, 2, or 1 grass slam is to average the number of grass slams each won in their own time. Otherwise just give Court the grass GOAT title, and forget all about not only Graf, but Navratilova as well. What are you suggesting, just look at Wimbledon titles and ignore others performance in non the Wimbledon grass majors in the days they existed?
     
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  18. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Here's the difference, Graf let them in the door. Evert strangled virtually all of them in the crib a la Lenglen on clay. Graf was relatively inconsistent within matches on clay, so she allowed confidence to grow in younger clay courters. What Graf did to Zvereva to win in '88, she did not do to Sanchez or Seles or Sabatini . If she had, Sanchez, Sabatini and Seles might not have become a factors. Evert did 'Zverevas' to them all for years until Austin came along. If you can't take sets and games vs Evert in '75, you stop dreaming of taking matches thereafter.

    As a lot of people put it. Winning is a habit. Graf did not establish it as a habit on clay.

    Graf had three problems that plague her clay game. That backhand did not bite into dirt the way it did on grass and anyone with a really good backhand DTL could take a rip occasionally. Folks could actually afford to run down that forehand often enough to induce errors. She had no plan B, if that forehand was not working well. there were two possible ways to beat graf on clay. You could blast by her a la Pierce and Seles or outlast her a la Sanchez.
     
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  19. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Oh please. Evert let Mandilikova, Austin, Navratilova, Jaeger, and many others in the door once the clay field became decent for the first time ever during her career. Graf wouldnt have let anyone in the door either if her opponents were Mima, Virginia Ruzica, Morozova, 30 something King on clay, Virginia Wade on clay. Are you seriously suggesting Graf would have ever lost a single match on clay to any of those.

    What cant be seriously denied is Graf never faced a field 15% as weak as what Evert faced on clay from 1974-1979
     
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  20. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I apologize. I totally misunderstood what you meant by by that phrase. You gotta admit the phrasing was awkward 'average 7 grass slams per grass slam' You are referring to the number of majors played on grass to those not in an era. Now I understand where you are going with it and it some makes sense. I get its validity. Sorry.
     
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  21. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Who knows? That forehand would never have worked nearly as well using those wooden rackets with a smaller sweet spot. You are left with Sue Barker tactics that did not get that well rewarded even on clay.

    Evert was 15% better than the rest of the world for years and you deem it the World's fault. Graf couldn't dominate the rest of the world for longer than a season and you deem the world to have changed.
     
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  22. Wolbo

    Wolbo Rookie

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    Ehm...no, it isn't.
     
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  23. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    I'm glad you rank Seles highly on clay. Reigning 3 time consecutive Roland Garros champ before April 1993...
    By the way, Steffi got hammered 6-0 6-2 in the 1991 French Open semi final by Sanchez and demolished 6-2 6-2 by Mary Pierce in the 1994 French Open semi final. Looks like even the best ever players could get clobbered.
     
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  24. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Barker is no Steffi Graf. She was a very poor mover which was the biggest reason she never became a top player for any sustained period, and that is the most glaring contrast to Graf who is a historic athlete and mover; and her serve was nowhere near Steffi's (even for 70s standards). The only similarity between them is a great forehand, but nobody talks about the Barker forehand as a GOAT shot. Barker's only weapon in her whole game was her great forehand really.

    Let me ask you straight up, are you denying the mid to late 70s clay field was incredibly weak? You could say they looked weak since Evert was there, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. The 76-78 fields were played without Evert and Goolagong (the only other good clay courter that even existed at the time) and the quality of those events were so incredibly bad they still rank in the annals of history as by far the worst (and that is with some super weak French Opens in the post Henin retirement years). If anything when Evert wasnt around the already dreadful clay field of that period is made to look even worse than it already does with her there and dominating there, she was its only lustre. It isnt her fault the clay field was weak, but I still cant ignore that when comparing Evert to Graf, especialy with them being only 1 French Open title apart.

    Let me ask you straight up as well, would you deny that Graf played in what would be by far the deepest and strongest clay era. I say that even with the eventual Seles stabbing, without which it would have been even stronger. Graf, Seles, Sanchez, Sabatini, Martinez, Pierce, Hingis, Capriati and behind that top group even a secondary cast of people like Fernandez, Zvereva, Majoli, Coetzer, and others. Even the secondary group I would say was easily better than anyone on clay from 74-79 but Evert and Goolagong. Navratilova wasnt even a remotedly good clay courter until 1982.

    The clay field from 81-86 was atleast much better than the 70s one Evert owned, and to Evert's credit she still was very successful, albeit less dominant, in that one.
     
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  25. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Pierce in the zone as she was that day would have beaten any player in history. Granted the same can be said of peak Navratilova, even on clay, but IMO a playing out of her mind Pierce > than any version of Navratilova on clay. I know Navratilova is overall a better and more accomplished clay courter than Pierce btw, I am talking about a totally in the one Pierce. Navratilova cant hit those kind of groundstrokes, and overpower Graf that badly as Pierce did that match, even on her best day. Heck even Seles, a better clay courter and groundstroker than Navratilova, couldnt do that to Graf even on her best day.

    To put it simply I could never imagine Graf not doing better vs Navratilova at RG than Evert did, could never imagine her losing 2 of their 5 matches 6-1, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-2, and not beating her in straight sets atleast once in 5 matches. Heck a 16 year old Graf beat peak Navratilova 6-3, 6-2 their first ever match on clay, although at RG next year their match was far tougher. You can disagree, which is fine. I am not telling people what to think, we are all expressing our opinions which is what the poll asks.

    The Sanchez beatdown, well nothing to say about that. Graf just played her worst ever match and got her *** kicked. It was a one match instance though. The difference in Evert's beatdowns I spoke of to Navratilova at RG is she didnt play at all badly in them, and still got that badly beaten.
     
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  26. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    All best ever lists like the one recently from Tennis Channel and the one from Tennis and Ace Magazine a number of years ago have her 1st, all experts (until recently when some are starting to side with Serena, although it seems to be more out of hype than reality at this point) have been calling her GOAT since she retired, and all polls (the real ones with thousands of voters, not silly TW ones) have her the winner. So based on that yeah it is pretty obvious she is the overall GOAT. Who do you think is commonly believed (what most people believe, not your own view) is above her.
     
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  27. Graf1stClass

    Graf1stClass Semi-Pro

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    Hell yes. she was good at everything
     
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  28. Graf1stClass

    Graf1stClass Semi-Pro

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    Graf dominated evert, though.
     
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  29. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Graf had very good technique on volleys. For her own era atleast she was an excellent volleyer. The only ones better were Novotna, Navratilova, Sabatini, Hingis, and "maybe" Tauziat and Sanchez Vicario. Other top players like Date, Martinez, Seles, Huber, Majoli, Davenport (despite her doubles success), Capriati, and others were a joke at the net compared to her, with nowhere near the volleying technique.

    Now she didnt do it often enough to get more comfortable and make it a true weapon in her game like Navratilova. She was very selective and smart about when she came in though, unlike some of those I mentioned, especialy Sabatini who often selected stupid times to approach the net. She came in off the right shots, at the right time, and she almost always put away a solid volley or overhead when going up, and when she had a tougher one to make she often delivered too.
     
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  30. Graf1stClass

    Graf1stClass Semi-Pro

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    Perfect analysis. I love you.
     
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  31. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Qft ^


    With all due respect, I disagree. Hard court now belongs to Serena, imho it's no longer even close.
     
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  32. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    She got one extra victory. Its 6 for Evert-8 for Graf, with a one switch in result leading to a tie. Evert dominated the rivalry when Graf was young and immature. Graf did not win a single set until that second Hilton Head. Graf dominated when Evert was slipping with age. Evert won one set after that first loss.

    They met four times on clay. Evert dominated the clay meetings the same as all the rest 1985 Hilton head 6-2, 6-1. Berlin 6-4, 7-5 RG 6-2,6-3. Graf won Hilton Head '86 final was 4-6,5-7. they never played on Evert's best surface thereafter. By my count, that was two sets on clay out of eight played on clay. Graf can join all time greats on clay like Manuela Maleeva and Zina Garrison by that stat. You can't tell anything either way from the clay matches.

    Irony here Evert beat a very young immature Graf by 6-2, 6-1 in their very first encounter. Graf beat a completely old and empty Evert by a score of 6-2,6-1 in their very last encounter.
     
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  33. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I think it is a very close. Serena has one more major victory, but looses in every other category. If you subtract those first two Aussies Graf played on grass, then its Serena who looses more often before the semis than Graf did at the Aussie and Open. Serena has a lower W/L percentage on the surface and has fewer tournaments in the bag. That is a lot to forgive for the one more slam.
     
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  34. The Hermit

    The Hermit Semi-Pro

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    yes, she maybe the best female player on each surface, i don't buy the crap she never face any True grass courter, clay courter, hard courter. You can only play the opponent in front of you, if one wants to give certain players play all formidable opponent, go buy virtual tennis or topspin and do that there.
     
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  35. BTURNER

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    That is not quite the 'era' argument. Putting this objectively, it asks whether, for example, Evert or Graf would have tough enough draws from the quarters forward to oblige them to beat stiff clay or grass courters round after round after round in slams on that surface, or conversely whether they might more likely get by ONLY beating one great player on that surface either in the semis or final. Lendl might beat a Henman, Cash or an Edberg in a given grass event. But how likely is he to come up with winning grass tennis vs them consecutively in a major? He played in a time that require him to.

    There is no doubt that Graf played and beat some true grasscourters. But its not quite the same as it was in mid sixties/ seventies where danger for a baseliner lurked around every corner.

    There is no doubt that Evert played and beat some great claycourters in the mid seventies to mid eighties. but it is not the same as early nineties where danger lurked around every corner.

    Soo we are left to wonder how well each would do if they were more mentally taxed in the early rounds, and then had at least two tough top flight opponents thereafter to beat on these surfaces. How many upsets before the second week, how many times they might be stopped at the end. there really weren't a lot of Lori McNeils for Graf to worry about at wimbledon. there weren't a lot of Aranxcha Sanchez's for Evert to sweat at RG.
     
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  36. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    This basically sounds like you are in fact admitting that Graf faced a far deeper clay court field than Evert did, despite that it seems you took issue with my saying that earlier.
     
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  37. BTURNER

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    It should sound like I understand your argument whether I adopt your conclusion. $64,000 is can you apply it to Graf's Wimbledon era. Might you understand that Evert getting to 10 finals at Wimbledon , and Martina winning 9 through far deeper grass fields, might represent more of an accomplishment than you care to see, compared to Graf who was playing all those 'great claycourters' a month later on grass. Sanchez, Seles, Sabatini! You can't have it both ways and the agenda you are pursuing in this thread obliges you to.
     
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  38. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Evert I would agree played in a somewhat deeper grass era (in the 74-81 period she won all 3 of her Wimbledons in). Not Martina. Martina's last 3 round opponents during her run of winning 6 Wimbledons in a row:

    1982- Russell, Bunge, Evert
    1983- Mundel, Vermaak, Jaeger
    1984- Maleeva, Jordan, Evert
    1985- Potter, Rinaldi, Evert
    1986- Bunge, 15 year old Sabatini, Mandilikova
    1987- Balestrat, Evert, Graf

    Then her 3 Australian Open titles on grass:

    1981- Cawley (way past her prime), Shriver, Evert
    1983- Durie, Shriver, Jordan
    1985- Sukova, Mandilikova, Evert

    Apart from her 1985 Australian Open title, and Wimbledon 87 where she beat a very good even if aging Evert and a surging albeit very raw then on grass Graf, nothing that impressive as far as draws. In fact 1982-1985 Wimbledons were pretty much epic jokes until the finals, not even playing respectably good grass court opponents (other than maybe Jordan in the 84 semis) to get there. Vermaark, Bunge, and Rinaldi in the semis vs Martina of Wimbledon within only a 3 year span!?!?


    Now Graf's 7 Wimbledon titles:

    1988- Paradis, Shriver, Navratilova
    1989- Sanchez, Evert (35 years old), Navratilova
    1991- Garrison, Fernandez, Sabatini
    1992- Zvereva, Sabatini, Seles
    1993- Capriati, Martinez, Novotna
    1995- Fernandez, Novotna, Sanchez
    1996- Novotna, Date, Sanchez


    Looking at those I would conclude overall Graf had the tougher overall draws and generally much tougher draws to the final. Looking at Martina's draws, I would in fact suggest the "depth" of field during the Martina reign of dominance on grass was quite dire. I am not sure what happened as typically in the pre 1 grass major only days the grass fields were indeed deeper and tougher, but in the mid 80s this was far from the case. Well for the women it was, the men still had the grass depth around then. Martina's ONLY edge is probably tougher opponents in the final itself, but then again I wouldnt say the 82-85 Evert on grass is any tougher than 88 or 89 Navratlova, and in fact I would prefer to play 84 or 85 Evert on grass before 88 or 89 Martina; and peak Seles in 92, on fire Novotna in 93, and Sanchez in 95 who played one of the all time greatest Wimbledon finals with Graf that year, are hardly easy opponents either. While Jaeger in the 83 final, Jordan in the 84 Aussie final, are easy poorer final opponents than any Graf had in a grass major final. So even the finals edge is not huge for Martina, and the remaining draw is clearly in Graf's favor.

    So no I am not inconsistent, nor am I pushing any agenda. As I said I am not forcing people to vote a certain way, people can vote as they wish. I did not bring up Martina's supposed deeper field she faced on grass vs Graf the way I did the deeper field I noted Graf faced on clay vs Evert, since as evidenced above it didnt even exist in the first place. Had Martina faced a grass field more on par with what Chris faced from 74-81 and still won 12 grass slams at the 2 grass majors, and even still won 6 wimbledons in a row vs a field like that, than I would rate her as grass GOAT over Graf despite Graf winning a superior 7 grass slams at only 1 grass major, due to a stronger field. Such was not the case though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
    #38
  39. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I have enboldened those that represented threats IMO.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
    #39
  40. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Sorry I forgot I should post Martina's final 3 rounds of her other 3 Wimbledons as well:

    1978- Kruger, Cawley, Evert
    1979- Fromholtz, Austin, Evert
    1990- Maleeva, Sabatini, Garrison

    1978 was good due to the final 2 opponents. Tracy Austin is was never a particularly good grass court player. A significantly weaker on than Sabatini, Novotna, Seles, or even peak Sanchez, and at best on par with someone like Fernandez.
    Martina's 79 and 1990 title draws were at absolute best on par or slightly below) with a typical Graf draw to the title, so dont really change much of what I previously said.
     
    #40
  41. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I did it again.
     
    #41
  42. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    Well if you honestly think Shriver, Kathy Jordan, Barbara Potter (!!!!), 1981 version of Cawley, are tougher opponents in a grass major than any of Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario, or even old Evert we are obviously so far apart in our opinions there is no point arguing as we will never agree. Even Garrison I would put as an easier opponent than that 2nd group but tougher than all of the first (well on par with Shriver roughly maybe). Shriver played Graf at Wimbledon twice in the semis and lost 6-2, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-1 when she was still in her prime, and Graf was still finding her way on the surface (especialy that first match), and she is by far the toughest and best opponent of that first group I listed. Just playing a grass court style does not make you a tougher opponent than someone who doesnt. By that logic Tauziat would be a tougher opponent than Evert on grass.

    I would be willing to bet lots of money 16-30 year old Graf could play 20 matches at Wimbledon vs those first 4, say 5 matches each, and the most she would ever lose is maybe 9 games (and that would be on a really off day) and there would be lots of bagels and breadsticks.
     
    #42
  43. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I'll admit Potter was silly, Had her confused with big serving Brenda schultz-McCarthy. Was Graf still 'finding her way' when she lost to prime Shriver in '88 on a similar surface (carpet) using the same tactics? Or was she not a threat to Martina in the early 80's despite already having beaten her in '78, but only to Graf years after in her Golden slam year ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQuOfFUZSSI Evidently Shriver wasn't such a patsy.

    This is what can happen with s/ver's so much more frequently in the draw. Graf lost to unseeded McNeil in the first round! Only time in Wimbledon's history the defending champ lost like that. This was the headline in the LA times :WIMBLEDON : Graf's Reign Gets Soaked by McNeil : Tennis: American, a 100-1 shot, avoids German's backhand and scores a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) upset"

    You didn't go back that far in the tournament to determine first round threats. Maybe that was a mistake. Martina lost in the first rd in 1974 as a newbie to Jausovec, but it made no headlines

    Martina took the net away from these players.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    #43
  44. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Pam Shriver was a very good grass court player. Zina Garrison holds a win over Steffi at Wimbledon, semi final 1990, then lost to 33 year old Martina in the final and Lori McNeil turfed Graf out early, 1r, in 94. They could play on grass. Not hard to see Serena dishing out the same to Steffi either, is it?!?...
    Come to think of it, even Jo Durie has a win over Steffi at Wimbledon!





    :)
     
    #44
  45. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Jordan could beat anybody anytime when inspired.

    Beat prime Evert three times.
     
    #45
  46. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    She was a good player. I just wouldnt rate her over Sabatini, Seles, Sanchez Vicario, Shriver, or Garrison as a dangerous or difficult opponent though, even on grass. Atleast not in a slam event.

    Her win over Evert at Wimbledon was when she was extremely ill btw, although she did post 2 other wins in other tournaments.
     
    #46
  47. grafforehand

    grafforehand Banned

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    I dont even know how you define "prime" Serena but Serena since her first Wimbledon title in 2002 up until 2013 when she is defending Wimbledon Champion and #1 seed has had the following losses at Wimbledon:

    2004- Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4
    2005- Jill Craybas
    2007- Henin (who lost to Bartoli next day)
    2011- Bartoli
    2013- Lisicki

    By comparision I would say Graf stands up quite well. Garrison and even McNeil (and Zvereva who Graf lost to at Wimbledon 98, covering her only Wimbledon losses from 86-99, plus the 99 final to Davenport) are certainly better grass courters than most of those (someone like Bartoli would never win a Wimbledon in any time but today). I would say even moreso Steffi could have easily done to Serena what all those much lesser players and lesser grass courters did during the years she was supposably the one to beat at Wimbledon like Graf was from 88-99.

    Like I said I would put Garrison roughly on par with Shriver, but she would have more chance vs Graf (albeit very small for both) since she actually has a ground game, while Shriver has to bail in on anything as she cant even hang a few shots from Graf from the back. Garrison is also a light years better mover than Shriver. Shriver is by far a smarter and more consistent player though, and that is what made her a mainstay in the top 5 for so many years, albeit in an era severely lacking in depth. Graf is also a very smart player though, and with that would rarely be bothered by a player with limited firepower, limited athleticsm, and glaring technical holes in her game. As it was Garison had 2 wins over Graf from 86 onwards vs only 1 for Shriver. Plus as I said earlier meetings at Wimbledon, 6-2, 6-0 loss for Shriver and 6-2, 6-1 losses for Shriver (both when Shriver was easily still in her prime, in fact 87 was perhaps her best year ever) and Garrison a 3 set win over Graf, and a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Graf (which was on serve in the 2nd set still at 3-4). Easy to see who would be the tougher opponent at Wimbledon for Graf of the two women.


    McNeil was a very streaky player but on her best day she played like a top 5 player. At that Wimbledon in the form she was in, she could have even won the title, she lost 10-8 in the 3rd of the semis to the eventual winner. She was also always a mini nemisis of Steffi, with DeSwaardt being the other. Every top player has a couple of those, a player outside the top 15 they just hate playing, even though they still usually beat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    #47
  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Is there any record of Graf against a male player? even in training?
     
    #48
  49. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Steffi and Serena both had surprising losses at Wimbledon, even in their 'prime'. The fact is that Steffi got battered in her 'prime' a number of times at Grand Slam tournaments too, not just the likes of Evert. What I'm saying is that you can't just disparage past greats like Evert and Navratilova in order to try and boost Graf's claim as 'GOAT' when all three were great. I don't believe Steffi deserves to be called 'best ever' on each surface, though she is certainly one of the best players ever, clearly. Whether she is 'GOAT' is also a question of debate and not a lock for Graf in my opinion, given other players have won more titles overall, shown greater longevity and certain other events...
     
    #49
  50. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not sure but I have heard that Steffi usually beats Andre (to the bathroom in the morning).

    J-Mac once asked Andre how it feels "to be sitting across the breakfast table with someone who has won more titles than you". Andre replies, "You know John, we could invite you over for breakfast and she'll still be the one with the most trophies". (Disclaimer: probably not the exact dialogue).
     
    #50

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