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. ctjpm

    ctjpm New User

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    Seles didn't have movement problems, nowhere did I state she was a fabulous mover.
    1989 US result might have move to do with it being Evert's last tournament, Monica struggling at the open early in her career and Evert being her idol, who ends their idol's career? Granted Seles took Graf & Navratilova to three sets in 1989 - she also beat Evert in three. Enjoyed watching Hingis, I'll just agree to disagree regarding how she'd match-up with the Swiss pre-stabbing.
     
  2. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I agree.I watched very little of Bueno, and she was past her peak and , of course, never had the chance to see lenglen and Mo.But these 3 women are, talent wise, as good as any other who ever played the game.

    As for those I watched, I agree Hingis,Mandlikova and Cawley being megatalented and probably better than women with a better record than them.Of thsoe 3, Hingis was clearly the toughest menthally and she could have been the best ever with a bit of strength and consistency ( she owned Graf at that 1999 RG final till the umpire spoiled it all).

    Evonne wss like a fairy playing tennis.You would be not human if you ever rooted agaainst her, even if she played your favourite player...and Hana, well, if I was a woman ( or being a man, for that matter) and wanted to play tennis, I´d like to play exactly the way I have seen Hana on those rare ocassions she gave her 100%
     
  3. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Evonne seemed to be the happiest player I've ever saw. She just floated on the court and just casually seemed to make the most ridiculous shots.
     
  4. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    Personally for me, Serena would have to win 25 singles major to be considered the greatest. Not because I believe Court's 24 majors necessarily holds a lot of weight....but that way, at least Serena would be leading in one significant objective category (aside from H2H), even though she'd be lacking in other objective categories (weeks @#1, total number of titles, etc). Subjectively her game may be the greatest ever...but if she can reach that magical number of 25 for slam titles, she'd be the greatest for me.

    If Serena "only" reaches 18 majors, or 20 majors...then she still wouldn't be leading any objective category (even though her game may be most dominating). And I'm using the slam titles as the objective category for her, since that's the one she's most likely to achieve. Any other objective category is impossible for her reach at this point, while there is a very slight chance she can still manage the singles majors record.

    It's a stretch at this point to say she will reach 25. It's doable, but quite a stretch. Let's see what the next few years bring.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  5. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    First of all, there's no way she's going to win 25 slams at the current stage of her career. Even to reach 10 more slam finals is a stretch, let alone win them all. Second, even if she miraculously managed to win 25 slams there's always be people out there to dispute her goat. See Federer...he holds the record with 17 slams and some people always have unreasonable argument to knock him down. And unlike Serena, Fed owns many significant records, not just the most important one(total slams).

    True, she wouldn't be leading in any other stats. The total titles and ranking is out of the question.

    No it's not doable at the age of 31. If she was in her early 20s that's another story.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Honestly even with 25 majors it's not really to the point that Serena is clearly the best ever. Graf has 22 majors, a Grand Slam (very important) and 107 tournaments won. Court has 24 majors, also a Grand Slam and over 200 tournaments won.

    Let's say Serena somehow ends up with 25 majors and 70 total tournaments won. Does it compare with Graf's 22 and 107 or Court's 24 and 200 with both winning Grand Slams? Doubtful unless Serena won several Grand Slams. Then it's feasible in my mind.

    Right now Serena has only 46 tournaments won. Winning another 24 is a big stretch as well as winning 10 more majors. Remember she's past 30 so you have to figure someday you will see some decline. Even though with Serena because she hasn't played as much as many you figure she may have less wear and tear overall.

    Incidentally TMF, just because it hasn't been done doesn't mean its not possible. It's highly improbable but not impossible. Perhaps Rosewall would be the closest to winning many majors after age 31. I will check the stats for Rosewall. It must be from 1966 onward. I agree with you. I don't think Serena will get that many majors to reach 25.

    Edit-Even Rosewall only won five total majors from 1966 onward. He won the French Pro in 1966, the French Open in 1968, the US Open in 1970, the Australian in 1971 and 1972. There were several boycotts but I doubt if Rosewall would have won five majors to make ten after age 31 anyway. I suppose if you count WCT in 1971 and 1971 which essentially was a major you could argue he won seven majors after age 31 but I wouldn't count them for the purposes of this thread.
     
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  7. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    I didn't say there wouldn't be people that would dispute her being goat. Hence I said "personally for me", and I made that quite clear. And I know that Federer leads in many significant stats and I do consider him the greatest (and yes I realize there are still people who dispute his goatness). But since Serena won't reach Federer-like stats anywhere, I stated a hypothetical for her (reaching 25), and that upon reaching that, at least she'd be leading in one objective category (which would help her case for some, obviously not all, compared to where she stands right now).

    And I did state that I'm on the side of doubting she will reach 25.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  8. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I vaguely recall ME Bueno, agorgeous player to watch.Evonne was the second one with that crazy talent.She ahd lots of " walkabouts" as she called them.

    But she was a fairy, she just existed in tales...:)
     
  9. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    I just don't see it being possible for Serena. Even with the less wear and tear on her body because of her intentional limited playing schedule she has still had a lot of injuries over the years (some of them serious) so I just don't see it happening for her. She squandered her prime by having too many off court interests and not focusing on tennis while she was in her prime and leaving all the rest until she was done with tennis.
     
  10. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    In lower end of top ten.
    1. Navratilova
    2. Evert
    3. Court
    4. Graf
    5. Lenglen
    6. Connolly
    7. Seles
    8. Wills
    9. Serena
    10. Jean-King
     
  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    That 89' open total destruction was a fascinating combination of circumstances but I don't 'idol worship' per se was a direct factor. Seles was already incredibly dangerous with all that power deception and angle off both wings. She took the ball right off the baseline and shot for the lines. She treated serves with utter disdain on return. but she did indeed have some mobility detriments, a bad serve and almost no volley. Seles worked hard to mix her power up with moonballs and underspin but Here she was overwhelmed by the occasion, the stadium and crowd, but on that day, it really wouldn't have mattered if she played on private secluded court in Yugoslavia. This was not the same Evert she had met in Houston.

    '89 Evert had been considerably worse than she had been even the year before and played very little tennis that year at all. But there were a couple of matches where she stepped into a time capsule and vintage Evert re-emerged. Evert played this tactically as though she had picked up a wooden racket and the eighties hadn't arrived. She stood further back, anticipated, moved and concentrated better than she had all year. But for more risks on serving, and the df's it caused, she was close to error-free while still controlling the baseline rallies from a less aggressive court position. Amazing mental and strategic victory. The games were often close but she ended up winning almost every important point. Seles obviously had trouble adjusting her footwork to that sidespin forehand of Evert's on the hard court. It left her reaching and off balance more than once.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  12. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    ROTFL no way in hell is Seles above her. The lowest even the biggest Serena hater can place her is 8th. There is no argument for either Seles or King being above her. Really not much for Connolly or Lenglen either, so really the lowest possible is 6th.
     
  13. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Honestly you can justify putting Wills, Lenglen and Connolly at the very top, at the bottom or anywhere in between. Those eras are so hard to quantify in modern times while their records are so unimaginable. I have no idea what to do with them, but I know any GOAT list without those names is a joke. Attention must be paid to Lenglen, Wills and Connolly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  14. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Connolly is purely a what if case, similar to Seles. She simply doesnt have the career to be any higher than about 7th at best. People say Serena lacks the numbers, but then turn around and want to say a women with only 9 slams can be GOAT based on playing level, sorry but just no. Lenglen played in a dinosaur era when it comes to womens tennis, mens tennis was already somewhat developed by then, but the women were just getting started and had absolutely no competitive value at that point, and she still won only 12 slams, or 8 official slams. Some of their peers may say Lenglen was better than Wills, but Wills had a far greater career at a time womens tennis was already more competitive than in the joke Lenglen era, so Wills has to rate the higher of the two, probably by quite a bit. Plus Wills never ducked Lenglen like Lenglen was purposely doing when Wills emerged on the scene.

    Either way no way are Seles or King above Serena, they themselves would admit that and laugh at the suggestion they are. Seles with no Wimbledons, only 9 slams, no doubles achievements, and no slams past 22 (despite playing until she is 30), and who was owned by Serena in head to head when both were outside their primes, above Serena, hahahaha, that is an especialy good one.
     
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  15. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    You realize that Lenglen lost her early year successes to WWI. She was a major finalist at 15 and had won her first championship before they literally canceled tennis for years on the continent. She would have won everything in sight. She went Pro at 27 out of poverty, just as so many great men did. Only she didn't have a pro tour per se to go to. We have established a way to keep measuring the greatness of Gonzalez, Laver, Rosewall, Kramer, Budge, Trabert etc. We just can't figure out how with Lenglen. The kind of insane dominance Lenglen had is self fulfilling. She crushed everyone she met like bugs for years and she kept them crushed. If there was only jokes for competition, for her to play against, it was because her play was the punch line. Once again you fall into the trap of discarding opponents as midgets, without giving the dominant force, the credit for making sure any young talented women stayed midgets. Finally, She did not 'dodge' Wills. Someone with her life and career history does not worry about loosing, they presume differently out of long established habit unless she has at least had a scare in a close encounter. She dodged the transatlantic travel largely because her father did not want her to go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  16. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Lenglen DID try and avoid Wills continously from 24-26. Even Bud Collins the dean of tennis historians has mentioned it numerous times in describing that era, and this is someone who is one of Lenglen's biggest backers too. One year at Wimbledon she even defaulted from her semifinal match, officialy with an illness, but many believed in part since she feared a potential meeting with Wills to come. Eventually Wills had to corner her unexpectedly at a tournament in Lenglen's home area, where Lenglen couldnt back out.

    As for competition I am sorry but no matter how great you are if you are going through some tournaments losing only 3 or 4 games the whole tournament, then your compeition royally sucks, no matter how amazing you are. It speaks volumes that Lenglen had by far her toughest slam final vs a 38 year old Douglas Dorothy Chambers, so obviously against another great player she wasnt that unbeatable, she just didnt face any since Chambers was too old and Wills came in at the very end of her career, hence bagels and breadsticks every big match of her career pretty much. Atleast Wills faced people like Jacobs, Round, Alvarez, a young Alice Marble, who could give her some semblance of competition and who were far better than Ryan, Godfrey, and the others Lenglen faced. Wills still totally dominance and lost about 1 match in 6 years so obviously I am not taking away from someones dominance due to their competition or put dominance automatically down to lack of competition, but losing 0 or 1 games most matches you play is something that is not feasible, if it were all how amazing Lenglen was she would have also hammered 38 year old Chambers and beaten young up and coming Wills in her matches with them, but she didnt.
     
  17. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I hate it when you get like this. This is stupid. My source is Bud Collins History of Tennis Second edition. 1919. Lenglen first won Wimbledon at age 15 over 40 year old Chambers in Lenglen's first tourney on grass . Do you suppose that either fact might matter if you weren't pursuing this ridiculous agenda?

    Referring to the semifinal loss, I'll quote Collins without edit beyond my abbreviations
    1924. "SL, a five time winner at W, weakened by an attack of jaundice earlier in the year, was forced to drop out after winning a QF over American elizabeth Ryan in three tough sets. It was the first singles set Lenglen lost, except the great default to MM at forest Hills in 1921 - since 1919." I think something might have been wrong, showing the round prior, besides quaking in her ballet slippers about meeting HW, which he does not even hint at here! Maybe she faked the diagnoses months before the draw came out, or maybe she was not fit enough for three setters!

    Now I read the rumors of her avoiding Wills. I might have read them from Collins but they are not expressed as some unequivical fact, but basically as tour scuttlebutt with the alternate theory I mentioned, provided as well. In this edition, they weren't mentioned at all. Collins quotes this terrified french hare as saying, " She must be mad, " Lenglen told a close friend, "Does she think she can come and beat me on my own home court?" Here Wills is quoted ," She's terrific," lauded Wills, " it was one of my greatest matches." By the way, it was a straight set victory for Suzanne 6-3, 8-6.

    Historians commit no historical wrong by accurately reporting widespread rumors of the era,including the rumors about the Lenglen loss, to Mallory, or the gossip about the Wills loss to Helen Jacobs because they are are properly labeling it.

    Seriously, now how many champions in tennis history hide scared they will loose to a well hyped newcomer? Court, King, Bueno, Evert, Austin, Navratilova, Graf, Serena? If they had the capacity for that mindset, they would never be champions in the first place. As BJK has said, champions love a challenge, they live for it! I'll take that opinion, over all the tour gossip-mongers of the day. I have rarely seen evidence of cowardly champions dodging from threats. I have seen plenty of arrogant and cocky or indifferent ones. Lenglen was a bit of a hypochondriac, who did not like long trips at sea. Her Dad who controlled Lenglen and the purse strings, was a bit of a control freak, who may well have tried to micromanage or delay that first Wills meeting. But I strongly doubt Lenglen was much of a doubting Thomas.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  18. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Lenglen was NINETEEN when she barely beat a 40 year old Douglas Chambers at Wimbledon, not 15. I dont have an agenda. Why would I care about players who were dead half a century before I was born on an emotional level. It doesnt take an einstein to know a person who won all their slam finals losing about 2 games played in an era where the sport was not even competitive on a small scale yet. Nobody can be that great to be doing that with it having nothing to do with the competition at all. Sorry but even Navratilova at her scary 83-84 and Graf in 88-89 levels did not have something anywhere near approaching that on a consistent basis. The fact Suzanne played Elizabeth Ryan, a huge fat lady whose movement reportedly made Davenport look like Carl Lewis (and actually I have seen some footage of her, even for her time her mobility was that pathetic), and without even that outstanding of strokes even for the time, in a number of her singles slam finals, and that Ryan was able to win so many doubles titles, says enough about that era already; as if Lenglen losing 1 or 2 games per slam final for 7 years, when a 40 year old lady could push her way harder than any of her peers could, didnt already say enough. One can look at Wills era and see that while womens tennis was still quite weak, it had grown immensely in the decade between the middle of Suzanne's dominance and the middle of Will's, and even in a more competitive time Wills Moody has much more impressive numbers, played much longer, and was more willing to go to all territories of the globe to play and dominate regularly. As for Lenglen ducking Wills, you are entitled your views, but I have read enough books that documented the game at the time written by highly qualified people who indicated that an up and coming Wills had to try and chase the then dominant Lenglen around the globe and finally corner her for a meeting just before Suzanne retired, to choose to believe otherwise.

    Of course that doesnt change that Lenglen was still an amazing player and all time great, but I would definitely rate her lower than Wills, and definitely lower than Serena who has more slams already, and regardless what one thinks of Serena's competition (which in the early 2000s was in fact probably the strongest in history) is obviously light years beyond what Lenglen faced in the "womens tennis just starting, in a few years people will start taking it seriously" time.
     
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  19. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    How well do you expect Lenglen to do in her first grass tourney beyond making it to the final, playing the greatest grass player of the prior generation, if winning the match isn't enough? If you had to look at champions with great longevity, Chambers comes right after Navratilova and Serena. I think you need to read up on her some more.
     
  20. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Again you are missing the whole point of what I am saying. I am not denying Douglas Chambers was a great player, she probably should be rated top 15 all time, or had great longevity. I am simply pointing out the obvious fact that if a 40 year old is much tougher competition by a HUGE HUGE margin for Lenglen than any of her peers, that speaks volumes to how weak her peers were, if losing only a game on average per slam final, wasnt enough (which for me it was enough anyway). That is the way womens tennis was it in its infancy, one great player per 15 years, Douglas, then Lenglen, then Wills, and the rest with one or two exceptions were not even barely competent, flat out sucked. The latter part of the Wills era where some half decent depth developed, not players of Lenglen, Wills, or Chambers level, but some very fine players who could atleast keep it respectable often with Wills like Alvarez, Jacobs, Round, and a young Marble all began to emerge. Before that it was the equivalent of womens hockey today if you had Canada and the U.S join up and form team North America vs the rest.

    We are obviously not going to agree so no point discussing this further. For me Lenglen is and always will be behind both Wills Moody and Serena in the all time rankings.
     
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  21. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    Nadal Agassi, I wish to defend my position regarding ranking Seles above Serena.
    First, Seles won her first major at the French Open 1990 and then followed it up with her second at the Australian Open 1991. Serena won her first at the US Open 1999 and it took her ten Majors to win another. Seles was for me a more complete player at a younger age and matured quicker.
    Next, Seles had two dominant seasons back to back 91 and 92, winning 7 of the 8 Majors. In 1993, she also won the Australian Open Major winning 8 of the last 9. If you factor in her first major win, she won 9 of 12 Majors.
    Serena won from the French Open 2002 to Wimbledon 2003, a run of five of six majors.
    Before i go on to the injuries which befell both women, let me talk a little of the competition for both women at these times. First, Seles was facing Steffi Graf and Navratilova. Serena also had strong competition, perhaps the strongest across the board, but Venus was no Steffi. For Seles to come up and knock Steffi aside like she did was the hallmark of brilliance. Serena had a tough deal, too, but not as tough.
    Now onto the injuries. When Seles returned, she made the final of the US Open taking Graf to 3 sets after 2 and a half years absence. She went on to win the Australian Open in her second Major back. She would again make the US Open final, losing to Graf again. It should be noted that Graf had entered her second peak, even more dangerous than her first.
    Serena's comebacks were very much stop and start and injuries sidelined her over and over from 2003 to arguably 2011. She has always come back from them and well but not quite with the ferocity Seles managed. However let us discuss the competition Serena had. A hangdog Davenport and a terrified Maria. She was not able to deal with Henin in 07. In 09 and 09 she beat Jankovic and Safina for her Majors. She beat Henin in '10 but then there was Zvonereva. Her last two Majors have been Radwanska and Azarenka. She has been picking up Majors in arguably one of the weakest periods in the women's elite levels.
    To continue, Seles came up against Hingis who was almost designed to beat Monica and then Sanchez in the 98 French final, no shame in losing that match. Then it just so happened that the Golden age of women's tennis came to pass and Monica, while she got close, got no cigars.
    Such factors are what just separates them for me, and it is also small margins.
    I concede I may be mistaken regarding Wills.
    I am anything but a Serena hater, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  22. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Venus of 2002 and 2003 >>> Graf of 1991 and 1992. Venus in 2002 and 2003 reached the finals of 5 of the 7 slam tournaments she played. Graf in 1991 and 1992 reached the finals of only 3 of the 8 slam tournaments she played, 2 of those Wimbledons where all the other players of her era were completely useless, including Monica Seles. Graf in 1991 and 1992 also lost 7 of 8 matches to Gabriela Sabatini, lost a slam semifinal 6-2, 6-0 to Sanchez Vicario, lost 3 times to Jana Novotna, lost 2 of 3 matches to a very old Martina Navratilova who she had not lost to in over 4 years prior to that point. The Venus of 2002-2003 would not have had such results vs these players. Yes peak Graf of 88-89 or 95-96 is probably better than any Venus, and Graf overall had a far greater career than Venus, but that is obviously not the Graf which Seles faced during her dominance, while it was the Venus that Serena faced during hers. Had Serena not existed, 2002 and 2003 would have been the best 2 years of Venus's career. Had Seles not existed, 1991 and 1992 would have been the 9th and 10th best years of Graf's career, basically like they were even with her. Graf only lost 1 match to Seles in 1991-1992, so Seles was quite irrelevant to her extremely mediocre (for her) results at the time. As a rather poor Graf was not even reaching Seles in most of the slams she won during this timeframe, lets instead look at who they actually DID beat in slam finals, plus Serena's one very narrow semifinal defeat which cost her an additional slam to bring both up to 6, in their 2 most dominant years, to get a real idea who faced the tougher competition across the net:

    Seles 1991 Australian Open Novotna vs Serena 2002 French Open Venus. Edge Serena. Yes even Venus on clay is much better than Novotna on rebound ace where she had horrendous results the remainder of her career and even skipped from 96-98.

    Seles 1991 French Open Sanchez Vicario vs Serena 2002 Wimbledon Venus. Edge Serena. Sanchez was a great clay courter, but obviously not the level of Venus as a grass courter. Had it not been for the Seles stabbing which greatly bolstered Sanchez's career, we would probably be saying this is a much more gigantic difference.

    Seles 1991 U.S Open 35 year old Navratilova vs Serena 2002 U.S Open Venus. Edge Serena by ALOT.

    Seles 1992 Australian Open Mary Joe Fernandez vs Serena 2003 Australian Open Venus. Edge Serena by a Pacific Ocean.

    Seles 1992 French Open Graf vs Serena 2003 French Open Henin. Sort of even considering Graf vs Henin on the specific surface of clay, but Henin at the time was in way better form, especialy on clay, than Graf.

    Seles 1992 U.S Open Sanchez Vicario vs Serena 2003 Wimbledon Venus. Edge Seren by ALOT.

    Dont ask me to get into semifinal and quarterfinal opponents as the comparision will only get alot worse for Seles.


    As for Navratilova she was 35-37 years old at that point, so dont make me laugh. Venus, Henin, Hingis, Davenport, Clijsters, Mauresmo, pretty much everyone in the top 10 when Serena completed her Serena Slam over the deepest womens field ever >>> 36 year old Navratilova. That Navratilova at that age was still the 3rd best player in the World speaks volumes to the Graf/Seles era which tards of those two players try to build up into something it never was. Yes Serena dominating at 31 speaks volumes to todays era too, but nobody ever suggested right now is a strong group of players, but she already proved herself vs ones in the past.

    As for injuries, Serena has Seles beat in bad luck by injuries by a country mile. Serena sustained two huge injuries at the height her dominance. Her knee surgery after winning 5 of 6 slams (and would have been the heavy favorite to win the next 2 on hard courts which were won by Henin, who never beat Serena on a non clay court until 2007), and then her restaurant accident which led to heart problems, infections, which even had her in danger of losing her life at one pont. What Seles had as far as bad luck worst of all of course was not injuries but the terrible stabbing, which is the worst thing that happened to either player I concede, but apart from that any further injuries which you seem to be focusing alot on (note you brought this part up to begin with, not I) in Seles's 96 onward career, Serena had more and bigger ones, but simply dealt with them better, and her game stood the test of time better. The next generation of players did not bypass her former standard of power, shotmaking, and athleticsm, the way they did Seles. Seles deserves credit of course for setting a high bar, but it was a bar others were able to jump over before the decade was out, while the bar Serena set a full decade ago is still the standard no others have approached, hence why she can continue so long and continue to make comebacks from adversity and win slams.

    You say Serena couldnt deal with Henin in 2007. While this is mostly true, I fail completely to see your point. Seles could not deal with any of Hingis, Davenport, Venus, Serena, a now aging Steffi Graf, and even an aging Jana Novotna, every single year from 96-2003. Check out her records vs that entire group of players in this span. I know what will be said, well this wasnt prime Seles anymore. Well 2007 was not prime Serena. 2007 was probably Serena's 9th best year of tennis to date (behind 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012), and Henin's best year of tennis. So good for Justine, she was better in her best year of tennis than Serena in her 9th best, I would sure hope a top 15 player of all time that would the case. Similar to how Seles in her best and second best years of tennis were better than Steffi Graf in her 9th and 10th in 1991 and 1992, again if that wasnt the case for the former then they must really not be that good period. Lets compare Seles in her 9th best year to another great player in their best and see how that went, actually we already got a bit of a taste of that with Seles in 2000 or 2001 vs Venus, or Seles in 1997 vs Hingis. Henin meanwhile in early 2008 was sent into retirement with a 6-2, 6-0 ass whooping to a resurgant Serena, and sent back into retirement by losing any momentum in her 2nd comeback with a defeat to an injured Serena who was wrapped up like a mummy in the 2010 Australian Open final.

    Lastly you have a very incorrect fact. Seles never won 7 of 8 majors or 8 of 9. This is already purely impossible when she never won Wimbledon her entire career. She won 6 of 8 majors in 1991 and 1992. Serena at her peak won the Non Calendar Grand Slam, while Seles could not even manage a Career Slam.
     
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  23. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    I apologise for my mistakes. I think I meant to say that Seles won 7 of 9.
    I respect your argument and concede to a fair amount but I am not swayed. I still believe Seles is a tiny bit greater than Serena due to my belief she played a greater peak period. I would like to stress that I feel the difference between them is tiny, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  24. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I respect your opinion. I personally think Seles is way behind Serena at this point, and all numbers would back my opinion up, but to each their own. In fairness if myself and many others, including some international tennis experts in the last year, can argue Serena is the best ever or atleast in contention for it based on things like peak level play, competition, etc...though you are entitled to think Seles is higher because of subjective things as well. I just dont agree as not only are Serena's numbers better but prime to prime I see Serena dominating Seles on all but clay, and I dont think as you do that peak Seles played in a tougher era than peak Serena (1999-2003) at all either. JMO
     
  25. fluffyyelloballz

    fluffyyelloballz Rookie

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    Fair enough. Perhaps I am wrong. I am highly likely swung by my own memories of Seles' domination and the feelings inspired at that time. Were Serena to win 3 majors this year and finish number One, I would concede the point absolutely.
     
  26. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    My top 10 of all time are:

    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 know most wouldnt rate Navratilova below Court and Evert but I do. I think people are blinded too much by Navratilova's overall peak dominance in a really weak womens field, and dont examine other facts (shortcomings) of her career.
     
  27. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Whilst i can not agree with your personal Williams ranking, it gave me no end of pleasure that you've ranked evert above navratilova :)
     
  28. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I like Chris more than Martina simply because Martina is kind of a bully/intimidation attitude while Chris is calm and quiet. However, I have to say Martina is a greater player of the two when they dominated the field. Chris was the best in the first half while Martina got the best in the 2nd half of their career.
     
  29. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Had Chris played the Australian and French each year in the 70s she would have 24 or 25 slams. Had Martina played them (and everyone else played them) she would have 19 or 20 at best, only 1 or 2 Australians on grass at the very end of the decade.

    People like to bring up hyperbolic comments like had Martina or Chris not existed the other would have 30 slams, but this is really only true of Chris, not of Martina. Chris lost to Martina in 10 slam finals, while Martina only lost to Chris in 4, and 2 of those she was quite beatable by someone else (75 and 86 French). Many regard Martina as better than Chris due to dominating Chris at her peak but one could look at it another way. This just shows Chris was WAY more dominant vs the rest of the field her whole career, the same way Federer fans argue Federer is compared to Nadal, and it took an all time great player like Martina to deny her so many more slams, while Martina it didnt even take Chris often to deny her slams. It also shows when Martina was not at her best she wasnt even the 2nd best player. When Chris was maybe not at her best anymore she was by far the 2nd best player, but it took the great Martina at her peak denying her so many slams. It is amazing to think if Martina never existed AND had everyone played the Australian and French each year in the 70s Chris would have about 35 slams, while even if Chris never existed and everyone played the Australian and French each year in the 70s Martina would probably still have only about the same # of slams as Graf, and in that case with Chris now gone, Martina would have had way weaker career competition than even Steffi Graf had (even with Seles being stabbed).

    Comparing them in other areas I would give Chris the edge by a HUGE margin in consistency, I would give Chris the edge in longevity since while Martina gets alot of praise for playing singles until almost 40, and doubles until almost 50, Chris is the one who won atleast 1 slam every year for 13 years. Not to mention even according to Martina fans themselves apparently had a 12 year prime vs Martina's supposed 3 or 4 year prime (aka anytime she was not totally dominating, or ending whenever a young Steffi Graf began beating her). Navratilova obvously has the edge in dominance at her best, but Chris faced a way way tougher field in 70s and very start of the 80s dominating and winning most of her slams, than what Martina did when she dominated in the mid 80s. So quality of competition goes to Chris by a huge margin too.

    Chris has tremendously great records at all of the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S Open, keeping in mind her 10 finals at Wimbledon, even if only 3 titles. Martina does not have as strong a record a the French Open, and not even as good a U.S Open record as Chris either. Chris's French Open record would even trump Martina's Wimbledon record too had she played the French from 76-78 (she was a mortal lock all 3 years but WTT kept all the top players away).

    There is doubles but most dont seem to care much about that anyway so...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2013
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Give Big Mo ( or Maggie Smith Court) a current racket and strings or give Serena and old wood frame and we would see who outhits the other off court.
     
  31. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Nadalaggasi - you make a great case for evert above
     
  32. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Thank you. I know the reason hardly anyone is willing to dare put Chris above Martina, it is because of Martina's 13 match winning streak over Chris where she was kicking Chris's ass in brutally for about 2 years, but considering that and nothing else is a very narrow minded view. When one examines their whole career one should atleast be willing to consider putting Chris above Martina, even if they dont neccessarily do so. Martina massacreing Chris for 2 years still doesnt mean they are on a whole different level, when one considers all the different things that happened to both over their 20 year careers.
     
  33. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    And I will point this out, Chris played with a wood racquet for much of that Navratilova winning streak. After she switched it was very competitive.
     
  34. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    I have the same top 10 as you but in a different order:

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

    Your list isn't bad, the main errors being of course the strange overestimation of Serena and putting Navratilova at only #5.
     
  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    :twisted: 2013 AO update:

    1. Steffi Graf
    2. Martina Navratilova
    3. Margaret Court or Chris Evert
    4. Margaret Court or Chris Evert
    5. Sloane Stephens
    6. Serena Williams
     
  36. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Cruel............but funny!
     
  37. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    Levity aside, this does strengthen the case for Evert who rarely had a bad loss in a slam (Jordan in 83 & to a lesser degree, sanchez -vicario, garrison, sukova & mcneil). This is perhaps also true of Court but i don't know her record well enough. Pc1??
    The Stephens win is a stunning upset and I can only think of the Jordan result in context. I could be wrong? Bturner? Chrisevertfan?
     
  38. chandler bing

    chandler bing Rookie

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    I was thinking today that this may be the biggest upset in the women's singles at AO since Navratilova lost to Sukova in 1984.
     
  39. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    You're probably right given what Williams has achieved from June 2012. But surely the navratilova loss was more crushing given, i think,it came at the end of an incredible year. Evert reaped the benefit by claiming her 11th year winning at least one slam title.
     
  40. Phoenix1983

    Phoenix1983 Hall of Fame

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    How much of an upset this match is will only be determined in retrospect - i.e. if Sloane goes on to have a great career (as she may well do), it will not be looked on as an upset, but a kind of 'passing of the torch' moment like Fed beating Sampras at Wimbledon.
     
  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I haven't seen that much of Sloane Stephens in match play. I saw her hitting with Murphy Jensen at the US Open 2012 and I did like her strokes but that was just casual hitting. Jensen was in ball return mode and Sloane couldn't do much to hurt him even when she belted the ball. She seems like a great kid.

    What do all of you think of her potential?
     
  42. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    She is very fast with good serve. Very steady baseline game, a very good defender and absorbs power effectively. She is not afraid of attacking the net and quite competent at it actually. She has a promising future I think.

    However, Serena was IMO injured in that match with back and ankle problems. Her serve was basically non-existent. This is the Serena whom second serves were on average faster than Murray's second serves during wimbledon last year.

    Trivia: Serena clocked two serves at 207 km/h during AO2013.
     
  43. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    The problem with both Evert and Navratilova is in surface variety in those majors. Chris: 10 on clay, 5 on grass, 3 on hard. Martina: 2 on clay, 12 on grass, 4 on hard for 18 apiece. If we changed just a few points in some close ones ( defined as one break of serve or mini in the second or third) things would look very different - or would they?

    if Chris had won a few vital points in '84 Open, and Martina had won a few vital points in '85 RG, It would be Chris:9 clay,5 grass and 4 hard. Martina:3 clay, 12 grass, 3 hard for 18 apiece

    Now if Martina had won a few vital points at '87 Rg, and '81 Open instead over Graf and Austin she would have 3 clay, 12 grass and 5 hard. If she won all the above it would be 4 clay, 12 grass and 5 hard for a total of 21

    now if Chris had won a few vital points at '73 RG and at the '78 Wimbledon over Court and Navratilova respectively she would have 11 on clay, 6 on grass and 3 on hard. If she won all of the above she would have 11 on clay, 6 on grass and 4 on hard courts for a total of 21.

    Oops I forgot the '85 Open. Martina was damn close to beating Hana there. Went to a 3rd set tiebreaker. Coulda been 22 majors split 4 clay, 12 grass, 6 hard.

    Oops I forgot how close Evert was to toppling Martina in the '81 Aussie. 5-7 in the third. Coulda been 22 for her split 11 clay, 7 on grass, 4 on hard. LOL!

    We can reverse this and assume the close finals are losses. Chris has 8 clay (loosing to Court and Navratilova), 4 grass ( if she looses that close '76 final to Goolagong) and 3 hard for 15 majors.

    Martina could have easily ended up with 2 clay, 10 on grass (- '81 Aussie and the '78 wimbledon to Evert), and 3 on hard (- the 84 Open) for 15 majors. This is getting funny!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  44. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Well the loss to Jordan was Evert's very first exit in a major before the semis (after 11 years on the tour already) and it only happened because she was sick with the flu - she had asked the Wimbledon officials for a later start (meaning the next day or so) and they refused - Jordan was a solid serve/volley player and one who occasionally gave Chrissie a bit of trouble.

    The loss to Garrison was because she had a bad day - was flat and the game just wasn't there which had been happening a lot to Evert in '89 hence calling it a day on her career.

    Another flat day against Sukova who incidentally is one of my candidates for the best woman to never have won a singles major.

    The French loss against Sanchez-Vicario was because she had been battling a heel injury all spring of that year but still a surprise.


    Stephens beating an injured Serena is a big upset but Sloane saw her opportunity and even though she had some nerves and her relative lack of experience showed a bit she found a way to win - expect more good things to come from the teenager as she gains more experience and learns how to deal with the pressure better. She's definitely getting some good lessons this Australian Open for sure.

    As for those of you who have Serena ranked so highly - could you please explain why? I just can't see it. Yes she is a great player with a ton of power and the best serve ever in the women's game but talent and peak level of play plus 15 majors just isn't enough IMO. She lags far behind the other top players of all time in so many other areas it's not even close - IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  45. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Martina could have more trouble with playing another serve/volley player than she did if she was playing most baseliners excluding Evert - her passing shots were never as good as Evert's and against another player who could take the net away from Martina she sometimes struggled.
     
  46. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Apart from Sukova her career records vs other top serve and volleyers dont indicate that. She is 7-1 vs Novotna and she was mid 30s for most or all of those matches. Granted Novotna should have won atleast 2 more of those that I recall her being up or having match point(s) and choked them away at the end in her typical fashion. She is 39-3 vs Shriver. She is 10-1 vs Tauziat, even if Tauziat isnt exactly a great serve and volleyer or player. She is 5-2 vs Court, playing her when neither was in their primes in 1975.

    Actually the one player apart from Sukova that would support this theory is King who as 5-9 vs Navratilova but all of those matches were when King was 34 to 40 years old, and Navratilova was in or near her prime starting in late 1977. King would have led the head to head if she retired at 36, and was up 3-0 in the early going.
     
  47. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    See Mandlikova in many of their matched
     
  48. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Let me clarify - I said STRUGGLED. That doesn't mean the same thing as lose. Against the better serve volleyers Navratilova faced during her career there were more than a few tight matches even if Martina wound up winning in straight sets or in 3 sets.
     
  49. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I think you are on the money. She did have more relative trouble with s/vers than baseliners and her passing shots were one of the reasons. it took her awhile to get them grooved. The reason she almost always won anyway, was because

    1. Her serve was better than theirs.
    2. her return was better than theirs
    3. her volley was better than theirs
    4. She had more chances to pass, because she got to all but the best volleys and approaches in plenty of time.

    When you are faster and stronger, you win a lot of these battles

    Ps Zina deserved that '89 Open victory, but the credit should go to her feet. Some of the fastest court coverage I ever saw, was running down Evert's best shots. Zina got everything back a la Sanchez. Evert faded.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  50. PDJ

    PDJ Hall of Fame

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    I too am struggling with Williams being placed in the top 5 & whilst i appreciate the arguments made for this i don't think they are enough to topple those that most include above her.
    Re the Jordan match, by the time john Lloyd had asked the AELTC for a day's grace it was too late as the Order of Play had already been released. A rule that remains today.
     

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