Top 10 women players of all time at this point- where would you place Serena

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NadalAgassi, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Now with Serena climbing upwards who would be your top 10 women players of all time. Mine would be:

    1. Steffi Graf
    2. Serena Williams
    3. Margaret Court
    4. Chris Evert
    5. Martina Navratilova
    6. Helen Wills Moody
    7. Maureen Connolly
    8. Suzanne Lenglen
    9. Monica Seles
    10. Billie Jean King

    I think Serena will soon be #1 all time though.
     
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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I've know a number of old time experts do believe Serena at her best could be the best of all and I also believe that is possible.

    However Serena, aside from the majors hasn't done nearly as much as many of these players. I don't think she had any shot to surpass Court, Graf among others. Look at Navratilova. She's won 167 tournaments and 18 majors. Her winning percentage I believe for her career is around 87%! I believe Serena has won over 40 tournaments in her career with a much lower winning percentage than Navratilova. Serena does have a good chance in my opinion to catch Navratilova as far as majors are concerned if she stays healthy.
     
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  3. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    if Serena reaches 20 majors IMO she is the hands down best ever. In reality Navratilova, Evert, Wills, Graf, and Court all have roughly 18 or 19 majors if you deduct the extra slams Graf gained by the Seles stabbing and Court gained by the phony Australian Open of the 60s, so she would have the most majors in history. That combined with clearly the highest level play even considering the era she plays in (excluding clay), already the most longevity of any women player in history, having no losing or equal head to heads vs any key rivals which isnt true of any other great in history, and dominating by far the toughest womens field in history in the 99-2003 period, is more than enough.
     
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  4. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    1.Court
    2.Graf
    3.Connolly
    4.Navratilova
    5.Lenglen/Wills
    7.Evert
    8.Williams
    9.Bueno/King
    10.Lambert/Marble/Hotchins
    Seles never won Wimbledon.Hingis won it.Hingis never won RG ( she was robbed), Seles did.
     
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  5. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You can't just forget about the other tournaments. Serena's record outside of the majors is not what it should have been. So if Serena reaches 20 majors and let's say she won 60 total tournaments. Is two extra majors better than Martina Navratilova's extra 107 tournaments won? And Navratilova faced Evert, King, Court, Goolagong, Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario, Wade and did extremely well. It was very tough competition.
     
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  6. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    King,Evert,Court,Navratilova.That is longevity.
     
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  7. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Navratilova had 90% of her career greatness achieved in 82-87. She did NOT have remotedly tough competition most of this period. 1983 is still probably the worst year in womens tennis history, yes even worse than 2009-2011, well apart from Martina's historic brilliance itself. The 4 slam finals this year were Evert-Jacouvec, Navratilova-Jaeger, Navratilova-slumping Evert, Navratilova-Jordan. The first 3 slam finals saw the loser win an average of 3 games, by far the best slam final of the year was actually Jordan vs Navratilova, lol! During this whole stretch of time her only competition was Chris who was in a major slump 82-early 84, and who was in her 30s late 84-86, Mandlikova in late 85-early 87 as from 82-early 85 she was mostly outside the top 5 even in a field with literally no depth, a 16 and 17 year old Graf in late 86-87, and the best of the rest was Shriver who was the perennial #3 or #4 of the Navratilova era, and Jaeger for a couple years. The way you say it one would think she faced that field all at once, someone like Court was retired from pro tennis 12 years before Seles turned pro, LOL, a large number of those players were never even on tour together, let alone semi prime rivals of a prime Martina at any point, and Martina's glory days in the game in no way involved the majority of people you listed, especialy not people like Court or Seles.

    This is nothing like Serena who has had a period of weaker competition, but from 99-2007 won her slams in a field that included Henin and Venus in their primes for many years alongside Serena, two top 15 players of all time, Sharapova, Clijsters, Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo ,all numerous slam winners and sure hall of famers, Seles and Pierce for awhile still as major contenders.

    Now I do agree even considering the times Serenas tournament total count sucks, and could be a mark against her. However you need to stop comparing tournament totals to current players exactly. Players from the past ALWAYS have many more tournament wins than players of today, why do you think that is, it cant be they are all miracelously so much better. The game today is far more physical (I did not say better, in fact I dont like the overly physical aspect of the game today in many ways) making it virtually impossible to play virtually every week as players of the distant past did. Injuries are much more rampant, especialy for those who dare to try. Virginia Wade has won many more tournaments than Justine Henin, a women who did play very regular schedules for current WTA standards, do you think for a moment Wade who was the regular whooping girl of every legend of her era, and who basically won atleast 2 of her 3 slams by slipping in the cracks when numerous people were absent, is anywhere near the player Henin is. You have mentioned many times how many more tournaments Lendl and Connors have won than Federer, do you really believe they are much better players though. The examples could go on forever. A women could come around who could win 30 slams and I still doubt she would win 199 tournaments as Court did, or even around 160 as Evert and Navratilova did. It simply isnt feasible today.
     
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  8. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Serena has won her slams over a 13 year stretch now (1999-2012). In 2002 she dominated tennis, winning 3 of the 4 biggest events and all 3 she played. In 2012 she dominated tennis winning 3 of the 5 biggest events.

    Navratilova won 15 of her 18 slams from 1982-1987. She did not have a single multiple slam year or single non Wimbledon slam outside this period. Even her long stretch of her first to last Wimbledon of 1978 to 1990 has now been surpassed by Serena at the U.S Open. From what I value in longevity anyway MN is nowhere close in that category to Serena and also ranks below Court, Evert, and Graf. Choosing to play tennis into your 30s as a pretty good player who doesnt win any major events any longer doesnt give you more longevity than a player who began dominating as a teenager and continued to dominate over 3 different decades of both time and her own lifes age.

    Graf won slams from 1987 to 1999. Impressive, again 1 year short of the stretch Serena has already extended hers to. However her first multi slam year was 1988 and her last was 1996.

    Evert won her first slam in 1974 and last in 1986. Again impressive, and again just like Navratilova and Graf, 1 year short of the mark Serena has already set and will likely stretch out further. Evert's last time ever as the best player in the World was 1981, and her last multi slam year was 1982. Didnt win a Wimbledon or U.S Open ever again after 1981 either.

    Court comes closest of all to Serena I would say. A 3 slam year in 1962 and another in 1973.

    King won her first slam in 1966 and her last in 1975. Played many years, but again playing many years and not embarassing yourself (any legend can probably even play into their 40s and hang on tour as a decent player if they choose probably) is not what I value in longevity.

    So best longevity:

    1. Serena or Court (soon will clearly be Serena)
    3. Graf
    4. Evert
    5. King
    6. Navratilova (in Open Era, in history she is alot lower than this even)

    Note I am talking longevity, not consistency. Serena will never be anywhere near the best in the consistency category, I will admit this. Just like she wont be anywhere near the best ever in the tournament wins category. Some knocks against her but so do all these others. More and more people are already talking about Serena as best ever as it is. I dont feel that way yet, but if she does reach 20 slams it will be a slam dunk. Anyone disagreeing will be spitting in the winds of an overwhelming consensus.
     
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  9. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    1. Graf
    2. Navritilova
    3. Evert
    4. Court
    5. Willis
    6. Serena


    She's up there.. Bouncing around the top 5-6 slot. She just doesn't have the career that some of the other women have.
     
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  10. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    How is Henin inferior to Venus?

    Far superior in weeks at #1, same number of majors, won 3 out of 4 instead of 2 out of 4. Venus only made 1 final at AO and FO each. Henin made 2 finals in the major she didn't win and took a set in both (hell was serving for the match against Mauresmo)

    What is most important is that Venus hasn't made a major final outside of SW19 since 2003. Once she passed her peak, she was incapable of even being a factor outside of grass. Compare that to Henin who straight after her comeback managed to make finals at AO and took a set from Serena.

    Then there is the fact that she dominated a year completely (2007) Venus has never dominated a year to such an extent.

    Finally, Henin also did that in much less time.

    The only thing Venus has over her is number of majors finals. Without only 1 final each at AO and FO and 11 weeks at the top, no way she is better than Henin.
     
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  11. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    It depends what you value I guess. However when you look at them vs past greats Venus clearly stacks up better. Despite having less overall achievements and 2 fewer slams one could even suggest Venus is better than Seles considering her 9-1 record vs Seles, destroying her and far outclassing her in match after match, which even considering this was Seles past her prime still leads one to wonder how even a prime Seles would manage vs Venus. Meanwhile Seles is 4-3 lifetime vs Henin. All those matches in the early 2000s when Henin was much closer to her prime than Seles, and still she has a losing record. So one could never imagine comparing Henin to someone like Seles, and as Seles is near the bottom of the top 10, that means Henin clearly couldnt be in it. Venus meanwhile could be argued to be as good just based on sheer ability as some of the bottom of the top 10- King, Seles, Connolly, while not being as far behind in achievements as she is compared to Graf, Court, Navratilova, Serena to be completely discounted. In short some would argue Venus as a top 10 player, and nobody would argue Henin as one, which already leads to strong likelihood Venus will end up higher.

    Now comparing Venus to Henin directly it depends what you value.

    Peak level of play- Venus

    Dominance at peak- Henin's 2007 was more dominant than any year Venus had, but Venus had two years she was considered dominant player (2000 and 2001) vs only 1 for Henin. Even

    Consistency- Henin probably.

    Longevity- Venus by alot.

    Versatility- Henin by a bit.

    Both have 7 slams and 43 singles titles. However Venus has an amazing doubles career on top of that while Henin has no doubles career of any sort.

    Venus has won the Worlds most prestigious tournament 5 times. Henin 0 times.

    Their H2H is 7-2 Venus, another huge plus for Venus.

    Lastly who will be more remembered 10 years from now. Who did more to impact the game and raise the level of the womens game. That is a no brainer.
     
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  12. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    1. Bro, you know that Venus was at her absolute peak, while Henin wasn't even in her prime. :) This is also the reason why I cannot look at the H2H or the fact that Venus crushed Seles while Henin has a losing record. I mean, put Henin from 2006-2007 against early 2000s Seles, and she beats her just as well.

    2. I'm not sure if we can use the "most pretigious tournament" thing anymore. First of all, we all know Venus won more Wimbledon's since her best surface is grass, not really because she is a better player.

    This isn't like the 80s, where players routinely skipped certain majors because they couldn't be bothered. These days, the ultimate goal is to win a slam, period. You will not see players skipping majors without an actual injury. (I guess that post Henin's retirement, FO could be called "the least prestigous major" :lol:)

    About women's tennis and 10 years later: you won't believe how many tennis fans I have seen that claim they stopped caring for women's tennis after Henin retired.

    And if you are going to mention subjective and soft factors such as this, might as well mention the significance of Henin reaching the physical level that she did while being so small. Of course there is a big chance that she didn't do it without assistance :) (and I say this as a fan, more or less) but even so, being able to be a threat and defeat even a post peak Serena Williams while being so physically inferior has to be mentioned as well.

    Venus being remembered more has probably more to do with he blood ties to Serena, her race, he superior looks, her nationality and her personality. Don't think that should be considered.

    And I completely forgot the doubles. By that logic, she is CLEARLY superior to Henin. But in singles, Venus vast inferiority in weeks at the top (which mattered back then) and clear lack of success in some of the slams put her behind Henin.

    But that is a moot point, your original list is right.
     
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  13. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Well like I said do you agree or not agree there could be a case for Venus being over Seles, especialy given how one sided their history is (even considering Seles was past her prime). Meanwhile there is no case for Henin being above someone like Seles or King, so Venus can be put in the top 10, Henin cannot. I think past greats like Graf, Seles, Evert, Navratilova, would all have a ton of trouble with peak Venus because her power, speed, and athleticsm probably surpasses all of them. I dont think any of those at their peaks would have much or any trouble with peak Henin however, she just doesnt bring anything to the table they couldnt handle. Henin is basically a poor women Hingis except with more power than Hingis. If you look at only Henin and Venus together it might seem like Henin has a shot in the comparision, but when you throw the other all time greats in there too, Venus clearly stands in much beter stead than Henin IMO.

    As for doubles when players are virtually inseperable in singles, then doubles is a tiebreaker, especialy when there is the vast difference there is with Venus and Henin.

    The 4 slams are all roughly equal today but Wimbledon is still the most prestigious. The biggest hole you can have on your resume of all is a failure to win a Wimbledon title.
     
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  14. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    I doubt that they would not have trouble with Henin. She wasn't quite Venus, but she her power and athleticism also surpassed most of the players of the past. Peak Henin beat Serena and Venus back to back without dropping a set. Even if Serena wasn't playing well, Venus wasn't exactly playing like crap. Even if she isn't as great as them, I think that Navratilova, Evert would have a lot of trouble with peak Henin. Seles wasn't going to pick on Henin's backhand like she was doing against Graf.
     
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  15. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Well in 2001-2003 Seles and Henin played 7 times. Seles's prime was 1990-1993. Henin's was 2003-2007. So Henin was way closer to her prime than Seles, and Seles still leads the head to head. Also in 2003 they played a match in a fast carpet final and 30 year old Seles in her final year on tour, injured, in pathetic shape, and losing to Koukalova and being killed 0 and 4 by Petrova in her final 2 slams, barely lost a tight 3 setter to Henin, and 2003 is Henin's 2nd best year ever! Based on that evidence I cant see Henin not being owned by prime Seles.
     
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  16. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    why do I have the feeling that most of their matches happened in the 2000-2002 part of 2000-2003. :lol:

    Look, even if Henin was close to her prime, she wasn't at her peak. Venus from 2000-2003 WAS at her peak though. It would be fairer if this was old Seles beating Henin from 2006-2007, which was more her actual peak.
     
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  17. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Actually there were 2 matches in 2001, 3 matches in 2002, and 2 matches in 2003. I did not say Henin was at her peak. I said she was undoubtably much closer to her prime than Seles. Are you disputing that Henin in 2001-2003 was closer to her prime than Seles whose prime basically ended in 1993 when she was stabbed (not saying she would be anywhere near her prime by the 2000s decade anyway, I hugely doubt that, but that is completely aside the point). Lets break it down even more closely though, since you want 2003 emphasized yes PEAK Henin in 2003 (2003, 2007, and maybe 2006 are widely regarded her peakiest years) managed to win both her matches with 30 year old Seles with a chronic bad foot, a decade past her prime, and soon to retire, so congrats. In 2001-2002 when neither was in their prime, but Henin much closer than Seles (again do you dispute that fact, a simple yes or no would suffice) Seles won 4 of 5 matches, the only match Henin managing to win on grass where Seles and Henin were both mediocre, but Seles a bit moreso. Based on that how could one ever think Henin would do much damage to Seles at her 1990-1993 peak.
     
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  18. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I think that currently Serena's is the 6th greatest female tennis player of all time. Goolagong, Henin and Venus are all just outside the top 10.
     
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  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Which 5 do you place above her. I place Goolagong nowhere near Henin and Venus. 4 of her 7 majors are Australian Opens with severely depleted fields. Henin won 4 Frenchs in arguably a really weak clay era, but it was still a legit slam, the best available players, barring injury, always played. There is a difference between a weak field and the field not even being there, and an event not even being treated like a Slam event back then for women especialy. She won 0 non Australians from 1972-1979. Court I give more benefit of doubt since she likely would have won all but maybe 2 of those Australians, she was that dominant at the event, Goolagong would not have.
     
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  20. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Putting aside the tennis greats prior to 1960, and doubles here's where I am.

    Graf
    Court
    Navratilova
    Evert
    Serena
    King
    Henin
    Seles
    HIngis or Venus

    IMO. for Serena to get to higher, she needs some more impressive clay success. Beyond her victory over that great clay courter, Venus, She's a perennial quarterfinalist at RG and only one other semi. She desperately needs reach the finals after beating substantial opponents in a QF and Semi in a two week major, as opposed to being a one week wonder in Rome or Berlin or disappearing after 40 errors in a QF at RG. None of the women above her were that weak on a surface that a major was played on. I don't think its going to happen, and another Wimbledon or two isn't going to impress me that her serve and two other strokes didn't do most of the work. She has to show she can discipline her nature/temperament, to grind in rallies over a long haul, match after match, over great opponents and lesser ones and slide her way to the very end. A GOAT contender either has to master her weaknesses or make them irrelevant, in the quest for her toughest personal tennis challenges, not duplicate her easiest, the most often. Its about conquering your demons over and over in the hardest circumstances until you barely have them, not someone elses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree on Henin.No doubt she just cannot be talked in the same sentence as the great Martina Hingis.
     
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  22. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    1. Navratilova
    2. Graf
    3. Evert
    4. Court
    5/6. Lenglen and Moody
    7. Serena
    8. Conolly
    9. King
    10. Seles

    Serena's low overall tournaments won number hurts her big time. At her peak she is right there but greatness is measured by numbers and her numbers do not stack up. Majors are the pinnacle but she would need to win more than 20 of them make up for her lackluster dedication outside of them.

    Lenglen and Moody are from a different era when scheduling and things were totally different as was ease of travel. They both decimated everybody in epic ways and you can say they don't stack up but they were dominant in their era and until Court came along were the standard.
     
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  23. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I have sorta decided not to put Lenglen or Wills in my lists because its just too wide a span and too much fundamental change in the sport to compare. but with a clear understanding of how incredible their win/loss stats always are. Even Connolly is hard to place.
     
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  24. PeteD

    PeteD Hall of Fame

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    But in addition to numbers, isn't there a factor of greatness in contributing to appreciation and admiration of tennis as a (in a good sense of the term) "classy" sport? To me, this is the real deficit in Serena's record. Showing up only for the big purses is part of that problem, as well as hurting her in the numbers.
     
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  25. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    actually no, clueless, henin > hingis ....
     
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  26. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Serena just doesn't have the numbers to stack up against some of the all time great: slam count, total titles, ranking. She's nowhere near as dominating as Graf, Martina or Chris.
     
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  27. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Yes but isnt tennis in the 60s, 70s, and 80s some dinosaur tennis which cant ever be compared to today, the game only being about Australians and Americans, far less athletic and deep than today, blah blah blah, or does that only apply to your beloved Federer.
     
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  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've always believe every sports gets better by the decade, and yes, it does applies to Federer too. The difference is Fed has the numbers to backup but not Serena, who's behind. If Serena has the equivalent(no need to surpass) stats as Chris, Martina or Graf, I would put her ahead of them. The problem is her achievement is not even close to their career achievements.
     
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  29. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Serena is either ahead or will soon to be ahead in some stats:

    -Most hard court slams ever. She is currently tied for the record with Graf at 9. If she wins the Australian Open (which she is the favorite to) she will take the record on her own at 10. Given that many now regard Graf the GOAT, and Graf gained 1 or 2 extra hard court slams by the Seles stabbing as it is and would already be behind otherwise, this is significant.

    -Slams won 13 years apart. This is the longest since World War 11 beating Graf (12 years), Navratilova (12 years), Evert (12 years), and Wills Moody (12 years). She is likely to extend this further.

    -4 Olympic Gold medals. The so called GOAT prior to Serena, Steffi Graf, has only managed 2, and 1 of them was a demonstration sport with nobody in the WTA top 20 entered.


    Laver's 2 Grand Slams are superior to all of Federer's achievements, and Gonzales being the #1 player in the World for 9 years in a row also is but you dismiss them because of the so called easier era.

    My point was if Serena reaches 20 slams she would clearly be the GOAT. 20 slams would be the real record considering Graf's 22 and Court's 24 both being false marks due to the Seles stabbing and the Australian Open for women in the 60s being only the Australian Nationals with on average 2 or 3 of the top 10 showing up. In reality Evert, Navratilova, Graf, Wills, and Court are all together with 18 or 19 slams, and Serena reaching 20 would set the new slam record. Add to that her already best ever longevity, her being acknowledged by all experts as having the highest peak level play ever, her dominance over the deepest field in womens tennis history back in 1999-2003, her setting the all time pace on hard courts, and Serena would be acknowledged by nearly all as GOAT. Whether Planet TW accepted that or not would be irrelevant.

    Many experts and fans already consider Serena the best ever as it is. John McEnroe, Bud Collins, Chris Evert, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, current World #1 Victoria Azarenka, Cliff Drysdale, have all called her the best women player of all time.
     
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  30. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    All the major records are held/broke by Federer.

    Most of the major records are held by Graf/Martina/Chris.

    There's simply no comparison between Federer and Serena(to their respective tour).

    To say Serena is a goat if she reaches 20 slams is like saying Fed at 12 slams is ahead of Sampras.
     
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  31. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sampras's slam record is not a phony mark tainted by a serious asterix. Graf's slam mark and Court's slam mark both are so it is not the same. 19 or 20 slams would be the true mark anyway considering the phony knife or Australian Nationals based marks of Graf and Court. To say Serena is goat with 16 slams would be like saying Fed at 12 slams is ahead of Sampras, and most Federer fanboys said Federer at 12 slams was way ahead of Sampras anyway (including you I am sure).

    Anyway Federer's 16 slams should not be regarded as the true mark. Laver, Gonzales, Rosewall, all won more combined amateur and pro slams than that, and all would have won more than 16 had it been Open tennis then.

    Anyway prime to prime everyone knows Serena would rip Graf, Evert, or Court a new one. Only peak Navratilova would maybe be able to hang with Serena on grass and hard courts.

    Who cares what you think though, your opinion doesnt matter. Many experts and fans are already calling Serena the best ever, and if she were to reach 20 (heck even maybe if she doesnt) virtually everyone will call her the best ever. Your refusal to accept that means nothing.
     
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  32. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I've always thought that Graf's RG title count has been inflated. Prior to Seles's stabbing she hadn't won the RG title in 4 attempts since 1988, with 2 defeats in finals to Seles. Then she went on to win the title there in 3 out of the next 4 years. In 1995 in particular she won RG title after an injury layoff and no tournament practice on clay. Really Martinez who had completely dominated the clay court season let her off the hook in their semi-final. I can't imagine Seles being as generous as that.

    Now I'm not saying that she would have struggled to win RG again or anything even if the Seles's incident hadn't incurred, but I don't she think she would have gone on to win another 4 titles there after 1992.

    Seles won 3 consecutive RG titles in and dominated the toughest clay court field in women's tennis history I would say.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  33. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I think Graf might have still ended up winning 2 more RG titles for 4, 1 more AO title for 4 (she was unbeatable in her form at the 94 event even if Seles is usually superior at AO), 2 more US Open for 4, and still been considered the GOAT by many today with her 4 for 4 slam record. However she would not have 22 slams, 18 or 19 at most. On the other hand Seles's would likely have a better record than Graf at both the Australian and French today, a similar or better record at the U.S Open, a similar or better record at the WTA Championships, a higher standing all time on all of clay, rebound ace, and possibly even decoturf and carpet, and likely been the best player of the 90s over Graf considering Graf was already 4 slams behind and her performances from 93-96 indicate the only year her being able to be #1 over Seles was 1996. Graf of course was not the best player of the 80s, which would leave her no decade to call her own. So even if she had more career slams than Seles and a more complete record due to Seles's likely always marginal at best Wimbledon record, her status as even the best player of her own era, let alone all time would be in serious question.

    Court's 24 slams is also heavily inflated, she wins 11 at the Australian Open which wasnt a real slam then, never more than 3 of the top 10 played so it is on par with a 500 event or Premier non Mandatory today, and she didnt win more than 5 anywhere else. Based on that we can conclude she would be down to 18 at most if the Australian was a real slam then. That is my main point, the final slam totals of Court and Graf both come with a major asterix so most would view someone who reached 19 or 20 as holding the true mark.
     
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  34. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Saying Serena is the GOAT now is as ridiculous as *******s saying he was better than Sampras when he had 9-12 slams.
     
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  35. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    *******s said Federer was better than Sampras when he had 4 slams. I dont know what your point is. I agree Serena is probably not the GOAT yet. Note I did not put her #1 on my list. However if she reaches 20 slams (and I expect she will) she definitely would be the GOAT IMO. Are you disputing if she reached 20 slams she would: 1. be regarded the female GOAT by almost all, 2. be worthy of that. Also the fact is many experts and past champions, including some female GOAT contenders themselves do call Serena the GOAT even now. The truth also is Serena is already setting some marks of her own:

    1. Tied for most hard court slams, likely to break soon.

    2. Most time from first to last slam. Only player to win slams both in 3 different decades, and in her teens, 20s, and 30s.

    3. Best Olympic record of any player ever.

    Not to mention while subjective the general feeling from everyone is that Serena's peak level of play and general level of play is higher than any women in history. Had she gone head to head with any of Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Court, she would have a winning record, and only Navratilova would come close. One just has to watch the Graf-Serena matches from 1999 when neither were in their prime, but Graf much closer to hers than Serena, and see how while they split and each won one 7-5 in the 3rd, Graf was forced to scramble, scrape, and defend almost exclusively how tough a time Graf would have containing anything close to prime Serena's power, shotmaking, and game.
     
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  36. scootad.

    scootad. Semi-Pro

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    I don't have much to add except to say that I'd be hesitant to use head-to-heads as a deciding factor in determining who is the best or better player all-time.

    Matchups play a huge role in the resulting head-to-head records between different players. History has shown that great players sometimes have poor records against inferior players simply due to a style match-up - using this as as a determining factor can lead one astray.

    I also want to agree with the notion that the Hamburg '93 Seles stabbing altered the course of women's tennis that it is difficult to know exactly how the major totals would have been different if that never happened. It's interesting to speculate about though.
     
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  37. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    True we do not know how the major totals of Pierce, Sanchez, Martinez, and possibly even Hingis would have been affected. What we do know is the only GOAT player who would have been affected though is Graf (and Seles herself).
     
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  38. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I agree with all that. Of course not even the most ridiculously biased Seles fan is going to argue that any of Graf's post stabbing Wimbledon titles have an asterisk next to them (Seles or no Seles Graf was always going to dominate Wimbledon). At the US Open she would have the edge over Seles on that surface, although I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the Seles who improved her serve before she was stabbed could have beaten there.

    But 4 more RG titles was a real stretch. Graf of course was an amazing player on clay, but the fact that she has twice as many RG titles to her name as Seles doesn't feel right at all.

    I do wonder how many other female tennis players in history could have beaten a peak Seles on clay. Hardly any at all I would say.
     
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  39. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I think Seles and Graf would both probably have the edge prime to prime vs Evert on clay. Graf was just a bad matchup for Evert in general even if she wasnt really a better clay courter. Evert I actually think would have been a bad matchup for Seles, however on clay Seles's persistent and oh so consistent power hitting, accuracy, and angles with power, would have still been a bit too much for Evert most times. I still think Evert deserves recognition as the clay GOAT as she mantained her best level on clay for 15 years, and her day to day consistency on the surface is mind boggling, 125 straight wins over 6 years no matter how weak the clay field was! I do think Graf and Seles both played in a far tougher clay field than Evert did though.

    It is interesting to wonder how Lenglen and Connolly would compare on clay at their best transported to the same time as well. Really impossible to guage with any accuracy in their case.
     
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  40. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yes, we all know how great the little belgian has been at Wimbledon...:)
     
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  41. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Hingis being greater than Henin is no slam dunk. Only if you only look at 7 slams vs 5, but if that was all that mattered Margaret Court would be the GOAT. Hingis has all those weeks at #1, most before the ridiculous ranking system began. She has a great doubles career where Henin has achieved squat all in doubles. Lets say you even gave doubles slams 10% the value of singles it would still bring the two very close already. Hingis was far more precocious, becoming youngest ever slam winner, youngest ever #1, these are things she will be in the history books for a very long time, who knows maybe forever. What will Henin be remembered for, her Roland Garros record, it is nice but there are a number of better records at the event in history even there- Evert, Graf, Lenglen, Court. Her great 2007 year, again nice, but there are probably a dozen better years in the Open era including Serena's 2002 and Hingis' 1997. Had she won Wimbledon she could have really made that a special year that ranks alot higher up, including probably above those two I mentioned, but too bad Bartoli had other plans.

    One thing is for sure, regardless who is greater, Hingis made more impact on the sport. People still today talk about Hingis as possibly being the smartest, most creative, and most tactically astute player in tennis history. Henin is basically a combination of a wannabee poor womens big babe after lots of weight and strength training (the extra power her only edge over Hingis really) and a poor womens Hingis kind of mixed together into one player, so obviously alot more effective than if she were only one of those things, but not really an extra special type of player in anyway other than maybe the hardest hitting 5"6 player ever as if anyone really cares about that, lol! An overachiever who was never marked for legends status coming up, but found her niche vulturing a weak clay era, and capatilizing on the injuries and declines of various stars in the mid 2000s. Good for her though, she certainly took ALL her opportunities and made the most of her comparatively limited talents, and she deserves her status as the best clay court player of her era, and fully deserves all her 7 slam titles she won and status as a 7 slam singles winner, but is it clear cut she is overall superior to Hingis and Venus as her fans make it out to be, definitely not. Especialy when those two had far more impact on the sport and excelled in both singles and doubles in a huge way (and Venus even has the same # of singles slams to boot). Hingis also excelled in the all time golden age of the womens game from 1998-2003, the same one Serena stamped her greatness so emphatically by dominating such a deep field late 2001-mid 2003. Henin vultured in the absence of the Williams and capatilized on the start of the dry spell for the WTA, admitedly nowhere near as bad as today yet, but nothing like the era the Wiliams and Hingis won many of their titles in. When people talk about the glory period of womens tennis that was a period that people will recall included Serena, Venus, Hingis, Davenport, Capriati, Graf in her later years. Henin had a little era of her own but it will be remembered as the post Golden period basically once all of those went down or retired.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
    #41
  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Mo Connolly.

    If not for her 1954 riding accident at age 19 . . . ?

    She won the last nine slam tournaments she entered. During her 1953 GS, she lost one set that year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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  43. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    She would be the GOAT no doubt. She would have 35 slams or more I bet. People talk about what Seles might have achieved without the stabbing, but Connolly was a whole other level entirely. She was unbeatable on all surfaces, not just slower ones like Seles, and there was nobody to challenge her until Court in 62 probably.
     
    #43
  44. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Graf is certainly in Evert's league on clay. As for Seles, Evert would have figured her out, and had the same kind of success Hingis did. Once prime Evert adjusts to the pace of shot, Seles hasn't much more to trouble her with. Graf's slice bothered Evert more and Steffi's footspeed was such that Evert could not keep her out of position long enough to take advantage frequently enough.
     
    #44
  45. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Regarding Henin and Hingis, Hingis won 3 out of her 5 slams in 1997 which was one of the weakest years in the history of women's tennis. Her competition was pretty thin on the ground that year. Henin won her 7 slams between 2003-2007, and all 5 of those years had a stronger level of competition than 1997 did.

    Also Hingis won Wimbledon and Henin didn't, but Hingis got her title in 1997 before Davenport, the Williams sisters, Mauresmo etc peaked. Fair play to her for that though. She beat an injured Novotna in the final that year. I really don't think Henin was any worse a player on grass than Hingis was to be honest. At her peak she had to contend with far stronger grass court opponents than Hingis did during hers.

    The two players were of a pretty similar standard on hard courts, grass and indoors but Henin was clearly much better on clay.
     
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  46. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    You are right 1997 was a really weak year. Hingis though showed in late 96 she was ready to seriously challenge a prime Graf for #1, it was just unfortunate Graf got injured and she couldnt prove herself vs her. Hingis was #1 ranked most of 1998-2001 vs a very strong field, and while she only won 2 majors her ranking was not controversial until 2001. She had chances to win a number more too but choked some away, made many finals, won a WTA Championships, and won many tournaments. 2003 was a very strong year, but Henin lucked out with both Williams getting injured and missing the U.S Open, and Serena the 04 Australian Open, and this added with the French Open she won by beating Serena gave her the appearance of a dominant run. 2004-2007 were all pretty average years for the WTA, stronger than 1997, but much weaker than 1998-2003. The clay field was never at all strong this period and that is where most of Henin's major titles after winning the 03 U.S Open and 04 Australian Open sans Williams came.

    I dont know if they are similar on hard courts. Hingis has a far better Australian Open record. Henin has 2 U.S Open titles and played amazing tennis to win both, but Hingis's overall record is far more consistent there. Henin never won Miami, one of the biggest hard court events, Hingis has won it twice and always performed well there.

    I also dont know that they are similar indoors. Hasnt Hingis posted alot more top results indoors than Henin.
     
    #46
  47. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    actually people do and remember henin for that great one-handed BH and the fact that she dominated the women's field that included serena and venus ......

    and again as has been said before, 97 in which hingis won 3 of her 5 slam titles was wayyy weaker than any of the years in which henin won her slams ....

    henin defeated Serena thrice in slams in 2007 .... now fat chance of hingis coming anywhere close to such a thing ....
     
    #47
  48. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah, because wimbledon is the only tournament that matters ...:roll:
     
    #48
  49. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Henin dominated tennis for only one year- 2007. The field included Serena and Venus but nowhere near their primes. Serena was out of shape and nowhere near her 1999-2003 level or even her 2008-2012 level. Venus was long past her best by then. The #2 and #3 ranked players that year were Kuznetsova and Jankovic. Hingis dominated a field with Serena and Venus too technically, both were on tour in 1997 and early 1998 when Hingis was still totally dominant, but like 2007 nowhere near their best.

    Hingis was generally regarded as the best player in womens tennis for 3 years- 1997 to 1999. Henin for only 1- 2007. This despite that Henin had a not so strong field to play with in 2004-2006, in 2006 she didnt play a Williams in a slam final and still went 1-3 in slam finals. Henin couldnt even be the best player in the World in an average field in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and Hingis was in a strong one in both 1998 and 1999.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
    #49
  50. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    lol, what ?

    henin was clearly no 1 in 2003 - she won the FO beating serena and clijsters
    she won the USO beating capriati and clijsters

    she also made the SFs of AO and wimbledon ..

    don't even start with that serena was the best player , because she coudn't even play that many matches and she did lose @ the FO to henin

    when henin was no 1 in 2006 - she won a slam and made finals of the other 3 and won the WTA championships, win record of 87%

    when hingis was no 1 in 2000, her record was clearly worse with one final and 2 SFs and a win in the WTA championships

    in 98, she was #2, behind davenport , her record was one win, 1 final, 2 sfs and win at the wta championships, a 82% win record ... still quite clearly inferior to henin's 2006 ....

    coming back to 2007, serena had won the AO, and was playing pretty decently at the USO ( so was Venus ) ... and henin beat beat them both there ....
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
    #50

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