Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by kiki, Feb 1, 2014.
You are back to playing your 'character' again. sigh.
Which sentence didn't you like?
Asking Navratilova and Shriver ...?
She had no weakness except her mind which led her to wrong decisions.But from the technical point of view, she was flawless.
C´mon, the worst volley Mandlikova ever hit was still a better shot than any volley Graf hit.Her backhand was so much more complete and dangerous.Yes, I will give Graf a slight edge on the first serve and the footwork.Stefi´s FH is one of the greatest shots in history; Hana had the best forehand over a decade, precisely until Graf matured.Graf was much tougher mentally and that is why, with similar talent, won much bigger than Hana.
Graf's volleys were technically perfect, that was never a problem.
Mandlikova's slice BH was no comparison to Graf's. And she was slow, I watched many of her matches against Graf in 1987-89. Graf was a teenage girl while Mandlikova was in her mid-80s. Graf was in another class.
Hana's volleys were technically superb. The only weakness at net was that Hana was suspect overhead (reacting late occasionally) when compared with very best overheads in the sport. (king, Navratilova, Shriver and Turnbull)
Hana was better at net both technically and instinctively than Steffi and had more options and patterns from the back of the court than Graf. Graf was faster and stronger with a better serve, and her forehand was on a different planet. Hana's backhand had more variety, but Graf's was more secure.
Mandlikova hit winner from both sides, Graf only from the FH side.Graf always moved left to hit a FH instead of a BH.Not guilty for that.
You don't seem to have watched Graf very often. She hit about 75% BHs and about 25 % forehands.
I think this is very accurate. My one criticism of Hana's slice BH is that she guided it too much, particularly when she was nervous. When she knifed through the ball it was extremely low and penetrating. But sometimes, especially against Evert, she floated the ball too much so that even if she got depth it didn't penetrate and pin her opponent into a predictable pass. Steffi, as we all know, did not have that problem as the knifing, almost vicious, slicing motion on her BH made it a formiddable, sometimes controlling shot.
Otherwise, Hana had a flashier and more dangerous backhand that could win baseline rallies as well as be an effective passing shot.
My biggest criticism of Steffi's BH id her lack of body flexibility. Too often her crosscourt passes veered towards the middle of the court with little angle. If she had enough power on it to handcuff the net rusher it could work out by eliciting a short mid court response allowing Steffi to close in with a forehand. If not, Steffi was put on the defensive.
On the volleys, there's no contest between the two. Hana understood the angles of the forecourt better and had more of a sense to win the point. Steffi, too often, tried to end points on one volley when two was required. She did not cover the net particularly well. The funny thing about the two is Hana's strength at net was her low volleys and half volleys. The hardest shots to make, she made them to look easy. Where she was sometimes shaky was on high volleys and, as BTurner pointed out, the overhead. Too much time to think and too easy to choke. Because of this, watching Hana play doubles with Kohde was nerve racking. Both were shaky on high volleys.
Steffi's absolute strength at net was crushing high volleys and overheads. Don't lob volley her unless you mean it because you might eat a fuzz sandwich. On the other hand, you want to feed her low balls, again, especially to the BH side because of rigidness and sometimes lack of ability to turn properly to that side.
The serve definitely goes to Steffi. Hana's first serve was effective when confident, but nonexistent when not. More than any other player, Steffi made Hana pay for bad serving. That was her #1 problem in playing Steffi in that she coukdn't her serve enough against Steffi. And since Steffi was so difficult to break, if you can't hold your serve then you have no shot.
And of course Hana could half-volley as well as anyone except Martina. I think her half-volley was better than Kings and that is a compliment. I don't recall Steffi having to hit that many of those because her approaches needed to be so perfect before she took any risk.
Yes, and that's why Steffi has 23 votes and Hana one vote in this poll ...
while Graf had the female´s definitive weapon in tennis history, her Fh and a very good serve and sliced BH ( but not the best of the best) I can hardly consider her a complete player, in terms of all round courtness.Not in the classical cannons.
In 1987-89 a 25/27-year-old Mandlikova played a 17/20-year-old Graf eight times.
Mandlikova lost 16 of 16 sets.
She won 37 games which is 2.3 games per set.
We can debate whether Navratilova was a more complete player than Graf. But to suggest that this Mandlikova was a more complete player than Graf is moronic.
Condi, Joe Pike, etc, etc, I don't think you are in any way qualified to judge anything here as "moronic."
I'm very well qualified since I have a few of the Graf-Mandlikova matches of the late 80s on DVD. And I even WATCH them now and then.
Young Steffi COMPLETELY overwhelmed Mandlikova. No weaknesses, my *** ...
I'll put it this way, Steffi has fewer weaknesses than you do.
But I have less weaknesses than Mandlikova. Who still has less than you, considering your troll posts here.
It is a bit silly to argue that a player had weaknesses because they never had to use a particular stroke. Graf overwhelmed people with power and low biting slice. Evert destroyed people by building points from the baseline. The list for top women players could go on and on...
Bottom line is that the best players always have shots they never hit, because the other parts of their game are so good they don't have to.
In men's tennis where there was more power involved, before court homogenization, that made for very interesting play because certain courts would reveal top players' weaknesses, like Lendl at Wimbledon or Sampras at the French. Sadly, I don't think the same has ever been true in the women's game.
If they never hit the shot, how does anyone know that the shot is reliable, that the shot works under pressure and the the player knows when and when not to employ it? It really doesn't matter if they have a shot if it almost never leaves the closet..
That was kind of my point...
In the case of Steffi, at least a few players forced her to play to her weaknesses. The fact that more didn't challenge her in those ways speaks to a lack of quality competition that, tough as they might be from the baseline, either weren't good thinkers or were themselves such incomplete players that they didn't have the capacity to challenge Graf's weaknesses. But when challenged, Steffi's topspin BH often failed.
This is one of the legit criticisms of Martina's competition from 83-86. Not enough players could take the net away from her, therefore, she almost always played from a position of strength. Could you imagine what a beguiling, tactically shrewd BJK could've done to Martina during that period? Hana was as close to that as the tour had, and I don't think anyone is going to put Hana in the same category as BJK when it comes to tactics or nerve.
Back to Steffi ..... who were the players post Martina that had enough game to attack her? That's about the shortest list ever.
Not many players in the open era had better passing shots than Steffi, including her topspin BH passing shot.
And in baseline rallies the combination of her rocket forehand with her BH slice was superior to anything her opponents could bring forward. When she lost matches it was because she made too many UEs, not because she didn't use the more risky topspin BH.
Shriver played to Graf's weakness impeccably and was one of the smartest players ever, and still had a terrible record (if we overlook the two 1985 wins for obvious reasons). So playing to her weaknesses was not a sure sign of success. Given Shriver was the 4th best player of the Navratilova era (I am not even counting Austin who was more the Evert era and very little the Navratilova one), Hana is 1-10 vs Graf and even 1-4 while still in her prime vs non prime Graf in 86-87, and Evert did very poorly vs semi matured Graf even considering her age, it is a safe bet there would have been few players of the Navratilova era to challenge Graf and her weaknesses too, regardless which tried. Probably just Navratilova herself. People might bring up Lori McNeil as an example of the Graf era and if there were more players like that, but McNeil is something like 2-12 vs Graf so even she wouldnt much of a case. Jana Novotna and Nathalie Tauziat are like much better versions of McNeil (especialy Novotna) and look at their records vs Graf. Mariaan de Swaardt did not do well vs Graf by playing her weaknesses, but bludgeoning her with power from all over the court like hardly anyone could, and seemingly turning into a god when she played Graf vs how she played against everyone else.
As for lack of depth and competition, womens tennis always lacks depth and competition. I love womens tennis but lets be real here. The only semi deep eras I can think of are 1990-1993 and 1999-2003. Maybe a few from the late 60s to mid 70s somewhere when the Court-King and Evert-Goolagong eras crossed over somewhat. You want depth and competiion create a time machine and an all time tournament that pits the 32 best players ever all together, since that is the only time you will get fields that present anything that isnt a total joke (competitively speaking) before the semis. Even todays womens field which most consider as terrible is actually much deeper than most eras past, but just very weak at the very top except for a well into her 30s Serena.
All that said Steffi still clearly isnt the most complete player, and only her tardiest fans would argue she is. Not being the most complete player doesnt mean you cant be the best ever btw. Steffi might be the best ever (really isnt IMO but that is aside the point) but is definitely not the most complete, and I am amazed she has as many votes on this poll as she does. You can think Steffi is the best ever while still acknowledging she is not the most complete, people need to remember that. The very fact some are arguing Hana or Evonne as more complete is proof of that, as NOBODY would argue those two as being better or greater players than Graf.
Regarding Hana she was mentally weak and technically suspect at best, so would never qualify on my most complete players list, even above someone like Steffi who I also wouldnt have anywhere near #1. That is even if she were a more complete technical player than Steffi (which I wont even bother getting into). Most complete for me encompasses technical, mental, physical, and tactical prowess all together. Even someone like Evert who is technically and physically less complete a player than Hana (especialy physically) I would call a more complete player than Hana for sure considering all of these.
In case you haven't noticed, Joe, your girl is actually leading this poll. There comes a time when you need to accept that not everyone will always have the same opinion as you.
I know that those Mandlikova "fans" are just trolling in this thread.
But - why let them get away with it??
No Hanika, no tennis in germany with skirt.That´s a fact Pike has never been able to accept.
I refeered to Joe Pike, not certainly to ???
Right on, Joe ... ummmm Condi, ...errrr willie.
Like I said, weaknesses.
You think that without Hanika players in Germany would not have worn a skirt, kiki ..., ummmm Suwanee, ... errr Backburner?
Oh, I'd loved it to watch Steffi play in underwear ...
I would not
Good attempt but you know that I meant Sylvia i s not given enough credit
In 84 mighty Steffi got crushed...by Sylvia Hanika
Mighty Steffi never trashed Navy the way Sylvia did at a major indoor final
Just pull that one out of the air? As far as I know, you are the only poster on this forum that needs more than one screen name. Why is that?
Oh yeah. Your continued lack of respect for other posters and the players themselves. Oh, I almost forget. There's that other little incident you got yourself into. Did you have to do some time for that?
We used to keep a stat on you. I think we were up to 17 screen names.
You are pathetic.
Steffi would dislike you so much. That is, if she hasn't already taken out a warrant for you in your country.
Does anybody remember Bettina Bunge?
Separate names with a comma.