Margaret Court: Martina not a good role model?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by jrod, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Just saw the end of Tennis Channel's special on Martina Navratilova where Martina mentioned how dissapointed she was to hear Margaret Court state that Martina is not a good role model for young girls because she is a lesbian.

    Personally, I don't think a person's sexuality has any bearing on whether or not they are a good role model. What do other's think and why?

    Oh, please try and keep it civil. Discuss....
     
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  2. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    Times were different then. Being gay or lesbian was not as accepted as it is now (not saying it is even now completely but much moreso than 20+ years ago). Margaret's very blunt comments were just echoeing the way much of the general public felt around that time.
     
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  3. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I agree that times were different then. The fact that Martina was willing to come out back then is highly revealing about her character as a strong, independent-minded individual.
     
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  4. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    Margaret Court is as homophobic now as she ever was. As a gay person myself I think SHE is the bad role model, preaching hatred against people who were just born a certain way. Homophobia is still a huge issue in the world, especially in sports, and spiteful attitudes such as hers are the reason why gay athletes (especially men) are petrified of coming out and forced to live a lie.
     
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  5. BTURNER

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    Nah, has nothing to do with the 'times" in her case, has to do with her ministry and her conservative beliefs to which she still subscribes. Margaret is dead wrong. And at least we as a society are changing. and as a gay person, I will respect her contributions to the SPORT, and ignore her bigotry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
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  6. CEvertFan

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    I'd have to agree. It's because she's a conservative religious person and being gay goes against her beliefs. She's wrong though, as Martina is a great role model for people in general, not just young tennis players.
     
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  7. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    I know they played each other a number of times from 1975-1977 including in multiple slam events. Neither was in their prime of course, especialy the aged Court in her twilight years. However those must have been some frosty encounters. I wonder if Court ever tried to pull away her hand at the net. I remember reading that Court had been Martina's idol growing up too, and as a young less emotionaly secure women hearing her idol rip into her like that was devastating for her at the time.
     
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  8. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    I agree with you.
     
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  9. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    This was clearly what Martina was trying to relate to the viewers in this documentary of her career. Other than express her dissapointment in her childhood idol, I wonder if by making this statement whether Martina was hoping to solicit a revised response from Court?

    Martina certainly made a point at the end of the documentary about what she hoped people would judge her on. I certainly had a hard time finding anything wrong with her clearly stated values.
     
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  10. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Actually Martina was not 'out' in those early years that they played and Margaret was not that involved in the faith and probably had no occasion to discuss homosexuality at all in any interview and did not know about Martina. What Martina remembers was that Margaret's game wasn't all that great anymore due to age but the serve still was! It seemed to come out of a tree per Martina.

    Now I'll bet she had heard plenty of rumors about Billie Jean though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
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  11. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Martina is a good role model for gay athletes and for girls who don't believe there is anything wrong with being gay.

    She's a bad role model for people for whom mid-20th century style Christianity is still their religion.
     
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  12. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    What specifically makes her a bad role model for this group of people? Is it just the fact that she is gay?
     
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  13. PERL

    PERL Guest

    The press half revealed her homosexuality and her girlfriend sued Navratilova for half her earnings. That was sort of a forced coming out to say the least. She handled the pressure pretty well although it’s easier in an individual sport.
     
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  14. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    None of Court's business. Martina is right up there with Graf.
     
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  15. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    I agree. The 2 female GOATs are Graf and Navratilova by a long shot. Court is battling Evert and maybe 1 or 2 others for 3rd place. Maybe Court is just bitter at someone who almost immediately followed and eclipsed her dominance, her athletic ability, and her serve/volley game, LOL!
     
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  16. Gemini

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    Court's entitled to her opinion, but is it relevant in the scheme of how great a player Navratilova is? I don't think so.
     
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  17. Figjam

    Figjam Banned

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    Well, while I think Gay IS wrong or a problem, I don't think that necessarily makes Martina a bad role model, Just because you do something wrong, doesnt necessarily make you a bad person overall.

    OH, and no im not some christian conservative yada yada, or homophobic, Im just Logical, but of course people that do things wrong, will always try to find people to tell them "it's ok"
     
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  18. Warriorroger

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    No it wasn't, Court is religious in a bad way, that's why she made the comments.

    I am not a big fan of Martina, but she is a tough cookie, and that I admire a lot.

    Ps I haven't read the other comments, I apoligize if this comment about the religion has already been put up.
     
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  19. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Hall of Fame

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    Times were very different for Gay people in the 70's and especially into the 80's when Martina was playing. When Aid's started in the 80's everyone blamed gay people because many of them were the first to get it. Religion is part of it, but the late 70's and the early 80's were a very tough time for gay people.
     
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  20. CEvertFan

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    I just watched the entire Navratilova Signature Series episode last night and Martina clearly states that Court made the remark right after she won her 9th Wimbledon singles title in 1990. So Court didn't say it in the 70s or 80s and that puts a whole other spin on it from what everyone was thinking - that Court said it much earlier in Martina's career. Either way it was still completely thoughtless of Margaret to do so even if she has her beliefs and opinions.
     
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  21. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    I think one reason Court is underrated as a player perhaps and perhaps not part of the female GOAT discussions as much as she should be is that as a person she was very aloof, pretty much made no personal contributions to the game other than her own tennis at a time other greats were investing so much of themselves (especialy BJK), and because frankly she doesnt come across as too nice or respectful a person to others quite often (her obvious homophobia and cruel public comments towards MN a perfect example). Of course people shouldnt mix her personality with her actual tennis abilities, but people are human, it isnt always easy.
     
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  22. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    1. Being gay doesn’t make one a bad role model.
    2. A tennis player doesn’t have to be a role model.
     
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  23. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Court

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/article1061462.ece?token=null&offset=12

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/12/19/1040174301749.html
     
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  24. Mick

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    imo martina navratilova is a better role model than maria sharapova.
    at least players who idolized her don't scream everytime they hit the ball.
     
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  25. TBobLP

    TBobLP Rookie

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    Accomplishments in any realm mean absolutely nothing if you are not a decent person...court is not a decent person and as far as im concerned i couldn't care less about anything she ever did in her career.
     
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  26. BTURNER

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    Guys, we are now defining Margaret's entire character and worth both in the sport and beyond by her anti-gay remarks. She should not make a caricature of Lesbians based on who they choose to love. We should not make a caricature of her because of her prejudiced views on gays. She remains a multi-dimensional, complex woman and what she gve to the sport should not be defined by either this OR her opposition to Billie Jean's movement. Doesn't mean she didn't give her time, do some clinics, or help some charities.
     
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  27. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    NO, she's right there behind Court, Graf and Connolly.

    Is Court's opinion relevant to how great a player she is? Of course it isn't. This only gets play because people have an axe to grind and because they want to advance the case of their favourite at the expense of someone else.

    In the grand scheme of things, Court is deliberately underrated because, as a wise man once said, "History will be unkind to those who do not write it." Court lets people like King, Evert and Navratilova write history so it's no surprise to find that she is pushed to the margins. Reality is that only Steffi Graf comes close to equalling her career but you'd never think that from listening to BJK, Evert or Navratilova.

    Regardless, I hope all of the people who have been moved to condemn Court's disgraceful attitude towards homosexuality and equally as damning of that attitude in all other walks of life.
     
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  28. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I agree. Martina's sexuality should have no bearing on her serving as a good role model for young women and neither should Court's opinions about someone else's sexuality.

    That said, I believe Martina has far more admirable attributes and has endured much more than Court ever did during her career. In my opinion, Martina makes a far more compelling role model than Court does.
     
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  29. julesb

    julesb Banned

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    You forgot Seles! If you give credit to Connolly for her "what if" career then you have to give Seles the same credit.
     
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  30. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    Eh, while I know you are a big Court fan, I think she gets short shrift compared to Evert, Graf and Navratilova because 11 of her Slam titles came in Australia, which was clearly a second tier tournament in the 70s. Hell, even the French wasn't as important in the 70s as it is now. Evert skipped the French three times during her prime. Martina, Chris and the other top players didn't start going to Australia till the 80s.

    Another mark against Court is that for all her supposed grass court brilliance, she only won Wimbledon three times.

    The only player of note Court faced in her Australian finals was Goolagong, and King in 69. A lot of the Aussie Opens read like a joke; half the draws were other Australian players. I mean, look at some of the top seeded players in those draws? Kerry Reid? Kerry Harris? Karen Krantzcke? In the 60s, it was almost as bad. IN 1961, there wasn't ONE non-Aussie in the draw. 62 I think there were one or two, 63 two, and 64 two, and Court won her 65 Aussie when Bueno retired because she was hurt, and her 66 Aussie without playing a game because Richey was hurt and had to withdraw. King only went to the Aussie three times in the 60s, and Bueno twice.
     
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  31. clymb420

    clymb420 Rookie

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    Margaret Court makes this statement out of ignorance. I don't mean this in a particularly bad way as to say Court is dumb. She just comes from a generation that tends to "ignore" things they don't already know about. They believe what they are told more so than other generations...as in the Red Scare, Communism as a real threat to us during the Cold War...it's a "winner writes history" kinda thing. There generation will believe what they are told and ignore facts more so than more recent generations.
     
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  32. clymb420

    clymb420 Rookie

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    1...absolutely correct!

    2...if we're talking about professional athletes, top 10 tennis players included...then absolutely incorrect. Charles Barkley is not a very smart guy.
     
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  33. flying24

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    With the home court factor though wouldnt Court most likely have won around 7 Aussies even if everyone played and have around 20 slams now though?
     
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  34. Lionheart392

    Lionheart392 Professional

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    I agree 100%.

    But if she was openly racist and said that being black is wrong for example, I think people would see nothing wrong with making a caricature of her based on her views. And really, how is homophobia any different? Martina doesn't 'choose' to be attracted to women, it's a natural part of who she is that she cannot control.
     
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  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Like I said.

    Court is the Emerson of women's tennis: both won lots of slam during a weak period.

    Martina and Steffi are the greatest. I do like little Mo also, but not enough longevity/career to be in that first tier.
     
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  36. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    I think Court had stronger competition than both navratilova and Graf.
     
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  37. NadalandFedererfan

    NadalandFedererfan Banned

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    or Evert. Of all the post World War 11 greats I would say most competition to least during their reigns would be:

    1. Seles (91 to early 93)
    2. Court
    3. King
    4. Serena #1 version (2002 and 2003)
    5. Connolly
    6. Graf #1 version (1987 to 1989)
    7. Venus (2000 and 2001)
    8. Graf #2 version (mid 1993 to 1996)
    9. Evert
    10. Navratilova
    11. Henin
    12. Serena #2 version (2008 to present)

    So Court far above any of Graf, Evert, or Navratilova as far as toughest competition during her reign.
     
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  38. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    I have to laugh at this. Seles had more competition than any player? And then you put Graf at 6? Seles only competition WAS Graf.

    You rate Court at 2? Who did Court have to play? She had Bueno a couple of years and King, and then a VERY green Evert.

    Sorry, in terms of competition, Evert and Navratilova had the highest competition of any women's great, because they had to go through each other. Between 80 and 86 alone, they met in 11 Slam finals, plus 2 Slam semis.
     
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  39. NadalandFedererfan

    NadalandFedererfan Banned

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    Seles only had Graf? Seles in the early 90s had Graf, an aging but still formidable Navratilova, Sabatini playing the best tennis of her life, Sanchez Vicario a future 4 time slam winner playing great tennis. Then behind them the bottom of the top 10 was filled out by people like Capriati a future 3 slam winner, Fernandez an extremely consistent top tenner, Novotna one of the most talented players on tour. Competition means the group of top players, including the challengers just below the very top, not just 1 opponent.

    It is funny you put Seles down for supposably only having Graf as competition (which isnt even true) yet say Martina and Chris had the toughest competition of anyone only since they had each other?! What is up with that, so only Graf wouldnt be competition, yet only Evert or Navratilova is?? Please explain that to me.

    Between 75-81 when Chris dominated Martina was badly out of shape and a major underachiever. She won only 2 slams and she probably would have won only 2 or 3 still even with Chris not there as the people she would have had to play in finals owned her around the time. In the 18 slams she played from the start of 1975 until finally winning her 3rd slam at the 81 Australian Open she lost in 7 of those to 33 year old Court, Janet Newburry, 31 year old Betty Stove, Wendy Turnbull twice, Pam Shriver, and Sylva Hanika. So you really think this was even close to prime Navratilova?! Heck even the aging Navratilova of the late 80s and early 90s probably played at an overall higher level.

    With King 33+ when she returned to tour in 77, and Court 33+ already in 75, Evert's biggest competition was Goolagong, an out of shape pre-prime Martina for a bit, and if I guess you could count Virginia Wade who wasnt even that good. That is it. Then when Navratilova was on top from 82-86 her only real competition was Evert, Hana once in awile, and for a year or two a young pre-prime Graf.

    I put Seles much higher than Graf since Seles had much more competition than Graf. Why are you so confused why I put Seles so much higher than Graf. Seles had Graf. Graf did not have Seles thanks to Gunther Parche. See the difference already. Seles faced the same aging Navratilova in the early 90s as Graf did in the late 80s. Sabatini played her best ever tennis while Seles was on top, not while Graf was on top. The Seles stabbing was about the time Sabatini went into a free fall. Sanchez was strong in both of their eras. Capriati was strong in the Seles era then gone when the Graf era resumed. So Seles overall had significantly more overall competition than Graf by a long ways.

    Court had a prime Bueno, a prime King, Ann Jones who as I mentioned is clearly better than Wade who was part of the Evert era, Nancy Richey whow as a very strong player. You say a very green Evert but Evert in 72-73 was playing alot better than chubby underacheiving Martina was during Evert's reign. Goolagong's prime was 71-76 so prime Goolagong spent just as much time during the Court reign (which ended in 73) as the Evert reign (which started in 74 at the earliest).

    If you want to talk about who played whom these were 6 (one third) of Everts slam final opponents: Olga Morozova twice, Wendy Turnbull twice, Virginia Ruzici, and Mima Jausovec.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
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  40. TBobLP

    TBobLP Rookie

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    she did so very little compared to BJK or navratilova did for the sport. she ridiculed the organization that made it possible for her to make all her money and get all her fame, and that is why i can't respect her AT ALL. I most certainly am judging her character by her remarks, and knowing her religious ideologies. this is not making a caricature. i am judging her character based on the charachter she displays, not on her sex, color, sexual preference, nationality.
     
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  41. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    I'm saying that if you say that Seles had the toughest competition, Graf was equal in competition. While I'll grant you Sanchez, I don't grant you a 14 year old Capriati or Sabatini as fierce rivals.

    You talk about Court having Goolagong as a rival? And count Martina as a rival to Seles? Fine. Goolagong is also a rival for Evert, as is King, Court, Martina, Hana, Tracy, and Steffi. Then you penalize Chris for beating Jausevec, Turnbull and Morozova?

    Who did Court beat at her Slams? Aside from 64 to 65, when she dealt with an aging Bueno and King, and then 71-73 when she dealt with an Evert and Goolagong who were both just starting to make their marks, no one of consequence. Four of her Slam wins came over Jan Lehane. Two were over Lesley Turner. Two over Nancy Richey, one of which was by walkover. Ann Jones, Kerry Reid, Helga Masthoff and Rosemary Casals. Yeah, those are names to strike fear into the hearts of players everywhere. They were solid players, just like Turnbull and Morozova, but no more.

    Evert beat Goolagong for three of her Slams, Hana for two of her Slams, and Martina for four of her Slams. She lost to Martina in 10 Slam finals, mostly at Wimbledon, and Graf in one, Court in one, and King in one.

    Sorry, Evert and Martina had the toughest competition, again, because they had to go through each other for pretty much their whole careers, plus they had excellent players who could threaten, like King, Goolagong, Hana, and Steffi.
     
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  42. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    It's funny...I would have thought that this thread would have gone astray with rants and insults being flung about regarding Martina being gay, and not regarding who had tougher competition.

    I believe this is a postive sign, even though the debate is somewhat off course. Carry on...
     
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  43. NadalandFedererfan

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    From 1991-1993 Capriati was 15 to 17, not 14. Still Capriati's 2 primes as a player were clearly 1991-1993 and 2001-2003. Anyone who followed her career would find that obvious.

    Sabatini is probably the greatest player ever to win only 1 slam title. She has a horde of tier 1 titles, 18 slam semis, twice won the WTA Championships which is the biggest non slam event She was just unlucky to be in the era of multiple superior players: Graf and Navratilova early on, then Graf, Seles, and Sanchez Vicario in the 90s. Can you name another player without atleast 3 slams with her overall credentials.

    However the main point to note is this. Seles had GRAF as competition. You expect anyone to agree to Martina and Chris having the toughest competition only since they had each other. Well by your logic Seles had Graf, so if having Martina or Chris as your competition is enough, then having Graf should be enough to. By contrast Graf did NOT have Seles. Gunther Parche made sure of that. So Seles had Graf as her competition, Graf did not have Seles as her competition. That is already the biggest difference in the competition they faced.

    I only mentioned Martina in the context she was aging since if you were going to bring her up as competition for Graf in the late 80s despite her being aged (and thus diminished competition) the same would hold true for Seles in the early 90s. That is all. King faced Evert at only 1 slam event in 74-75, a loss to 31 year old King at Wimbledon. King then returned to tour in 77 at 33. A near prime King was never part of Evert's "competition" atleast while she was actually winning. Court didnt play Evert until after Evert's first slam until 1975 when she was also already 33. So again an anywhere near prime Court was not part of Evert's "competition".

    A prime Tracy lasted only 3 years- 1979 to 1981. After 1981 she was done, she played some part time tennis in 1982 and 1983 already a huge shadow of her old self. She didnt even play the French Open any of those 3 years, and she and Evert didnt play at any slam outside the U.S Open. Not much of a contemporary rival.

    Hana yes is competition, although one of the most inconsistent players to win 3-4 slams in history.

    Steffi won her first slam a full year after Evert's last. They are far from contemporaries or "competition" for each other. Anyway if you are really insistent on counting a 15 and 16 year old Graf as major competition for Evert, than even an early 30s Evert would have to qualify as legit competition for Graf by the same standards.

    Most of Court's weak final opponents you refer to were at the Australian Open which as noted wasnt truly valued as a slam back then. So much of the weaker final opponents you refer to has more to do with the Australian Opens status then, and Court's insistence on playing it each year due to being Australian, than the actual field. If the Australian Open had been a valued slam then she probably would have won 5-7 times and beaten similar caliber opponents as she beat at Wimbledon and the U.S Open. Of her 5 French Opens her final opponents included Lesley Turner, a clay court specialist who won the French twice, was in 4 French open finals, and had multiple wins over Court in her career on clay. Maria Bueno, a top 15 player all time. Ann Jones, a clay court specialist who won the French twice, was in 5 French finals that decade, and yet who was even good enough to win Wimbledon on grass in her career. Gourlay in the 71 final, so yes a weaker final opponent there. Then in 1973 at nearly 31 downing an 18 year old Evert in the French Open final. Of her 3 Wimbledons she beat Bueno in 1 final and King in two others. Of her 5 U.S Opens she beat King, Ann Jones, Goolagong, Richey, and Casals. Casals is obviously the weakest of those, Jones and Richey are still multiple slam winners who have beaten the best on multiple occasions in slams. At the Australian Open she still did beat Bueno, King, and Goolagong twice.

    Lastly you say an aging Bueno?!? Bueno is less than 3 years older than Court. Bueno was also only 26 years when Court played her in the last of their slam finals. Their rivalry was strong from 1960 to 1966 when Bueno was only 20 to 27 years old. Yet you are talking about Court and King in their 30s when Evert finally started winning her slams with them in the field as competition while Bueno is somehow aging when Court faced her. :lol:

    So Evert beat Martina and Goolagong for only 7 of her slams. Court beat King, Bueno, Goolagong, and Evert for 11 of her slams. Hana is barely more accomplished than someone like Ann Jones, and Ann Jones beating prime King and prime Court back to back to win Wimbledon is equally impressive to Hana's career high moment at the 85 U.S Open. I see Court beating more tough opponents in finals than Evert did.

    Sorry but the aging King is no more an Evert contemporary during the Evert reign than say Navratilova or the aging Evert would be a Graf contemporary during the Graf reign, or Martina during the Seles reign. Likewise young Graf is just as little a contemporary of Martina during the tail end of her reign (or the tail end of Evert's wins) as Evert was for Court and King during the tail end of theirs. Goolagong was a legit opponent for both Court and Evert as I already explained, having half her prime during the Court reign and half during the Evert, and playing Court in multiple slam finals during her best years just like Evert.
     
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  44. Dedans Penthouse

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    Ms. Court sounds very cocksure in her opinion.

    But if she were in Martina's shoes (or sofa), I bet she'd feel differently.
     
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  45. TBobLP

    TBobLP Rookie

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    why do people argue about who had the most competition? you people are juvenile...take it to another thread at least.
     
    #45
  46. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    This is hysterically funny. The younger generation today is indoctrinated and brainwashed more than any in history. There is no rational debate today. Those who do not agree with the politically correct line are immediately called names (e.g. racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist), not debated.

    Examples abound. Look at the Lawrence Summers case at Harvard. He was immediately condemned personally, called names, etc., but there was no open or rational debate about what he said. At the Soviet show trials of the 1930s through the 1950s, there was an ironic saying in the Soviet Union that "the truth is no defense." The same holds today.
     
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  47. TBobLP

    TBobLP Rookie

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    i have to disagree with that claim. at least as far to say that is very unlikely to be true.
     
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  48. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    True. The tendancy seems to be to parrot other's opinions that resonate with one's beliefs without necessarily contemplating other perspectives. Occassionally you will see a debate break out, but it tends to be rather shallow and lacking substantive content. Unfortunately, I feel today's media breeds this sort of mindset. The lack of in-depth reporting and quality analysis is stark, even on the internet. It takes quite a bit of effort and personal discretion to find diverse and meaningful critical analyses.
     
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  49. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Yes, if we cannot battle each other with slogans short enough to fit on bumper stickers, or to be campaign sound bites, it is just too deep and requires too much effort.
     
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  50. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    You disagree with what claim? On what basis do you disagree?
     
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