top5 of all time?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by lawrence, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    prolly been done to death, but your personal opinions?

    1. federer
    2. samprass
    3. laver
    4. borg/mcenroe
    5. agassi
    (yer 6, ah well)

    actually. federer shouldnt be #1, but im putting him there as a prediction for his next few years haha
     
    #1
  2. downey stringing master

    downey stringing master Semi-Pro

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    1. Agassi
    2. Sampras
    3.Greg Rusedski
    4. Lendl
    5. Mcenroe
    6. Edberg Becker Borg
     
    #2
  3. deflori

    deflori Semi-Pro

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    Muster
    Kuerten
    Corretja
    Costa
    all just nice to watch..
     
    #3
  4. downey stringing master

    downey stringing master Semi-Pro

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    wow all just nie to watch.. must be like agassi , i never heard of him :s
     
    #4
  5. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    1. Graf
    2. Evert
    3. Navritilova
    4. Sampras
    5. Federer
     
    #5
  6. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Federer
    McEnroe
    Sampras/Borg
    Laver
    Agassi
     
    #6
  7. TokyopunK

    TokyopunK Professional

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    Nadal
    Hewitt
    Gasquet
    Hyung Taik Lee
    eh i guess federer
     
    #7
  8. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Federer
    Srichaphan
    Udomchoke
    Sampras
    meh.. Hyung Taik Lee
     
    #8
  9. scaino

    scaino New User

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    Open Era:
    Federer, Sampras, Laver, Borg, Agassi

    All Time:
    Vines, Federer, Hoad and Sampras (tie), Kramer
     
    #9
  10. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Hmmm, lemme guess, you are either Thai or Korean.

    Well, either way, props to you and your nation's cuisine.

    In no particular order:
    Lew Hoad,
    Pancho Gonzales,
    Rod Laver,
    Pete Sampras,
    and Bjorn Borg (though I believe Roger Federer will supplant him shortly....and possibly eclipse the other four of the above players).
     
    #10
  11. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    1. Budge
    2. Laver
    3. Tilden
    4. Gonzales
    5. Federer

    Scaino, how on earth do you justify ranking Vines first? Even among his contemporaries, Budge clearly established himself as Vines's superior. There is a similar problem with placing Hoad over Gonzales. I could understand your list perhaps on the basis of pure talent, which I agree is an important criterion, but certainly not the only one. And if you are ranking based on talent, why are Agassi and Borg in your Open Era top five, but not McEnroe, perhaps the most talented player of them all?
     
    #11
  12. scaino

    scaino New User

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    To Chaognosis:

    I have read your posts on Budge, and agree that he was one of the all-time greats, but I do not think it is clear that he was the best even of the 1930s. In Budge's own testimony, Vines surpassed him at his best and was the true 'Champion of the Decade.' Vines is the first player whose greatness cannot be appreciated without reference to the early pro tours. He was a strong number one in 1932, as dominant as Budge in '37. After falling a bit in '33, Crawford's great year, he turned pro in '34 and it could be argued remained the world number one until his NARROW defeat by Budge in '39, when Vines was no longer fully dedicated to tennis, becoming more interested in golf, and on top of that suffering from physical problems. Budge on the other hand was only clearly the number one in 1939 & '40, also '42, after falling in '41. Tilden, Budge and Kramer, and many others, players and writers alike, agreed that Vines was the best ever on his day. Kramer maintains this opinion even after seeing Federer. The later generation of Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver, among others, called Hoad the greatest, but I rate the opinion of Budge and Kramer higher as they witnessed both Vines and Hoad at their best. So Vines > Hoad. Gonzales, toward the end of his life in 1995, ranked Sampras on a level with Hoad, so I am inclined to agree, with Vines still ahead. Laver now calls Federer the best he has seen, so balancing the opinions of Laver and Kramer, we have Vines > Federer > Hoad/Sampras. These four in my opinion represent the first class, with Tilden, Budge, Kramer, Laver, Borg, Agassi, et al, behind them at a distance. I have seen both McEnroe and Agassi at their best, and maintain that Agassi was superior. McEnroe was a sublime touch player, but he lacked the power. On the subject of Vines, there is an excellent book by his son, 'The Greatest Athlete of All Time' (2004), which provides a lot of source material from Vines's career and private life.
     
    #12
  13. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, I am convinced, the only way to do this (and have fun wid it) is to make several lists.

    So, in addition to my list above....

    ...taking into account the recency factor:
    Federer,
    Nadal,
    Andre,
    Sampras,
    Borg.

    My personal favorites:
    Federer,
    Guga,
    Boris,
    Pete,
    Noah.

    Childhood favorites:
    Nastase,
    McEnroe,
    Ashe,
    Pancho Gonzales (who I saw at some Almaden Masters event),
    Borg.

    Amazing players I've only read about (that deserve mention here):
    Tilden,
    Kramer,
    Elly Vines,
    Budge
    Riggs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
    #13
  14. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Federer
    Borg
    Laver
    Sampras
    McEnroe
     
    #14
  15. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Men

    1. Laver
    2. Sampras
    3. Federer
    4. Connors
    5. Lendl


    Women

    1. Graf
    2. Evert
    3. Navratilova
    4. Court
    5. Seles
     
    #15
  16. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    I voluntarily don't rank Federer until he's retired, though I predict he'll be in the top 2 or top 3 in any list:

    Open Era:
    Borg
    Sampras
    McEnroe
    Lendl
    Laver (ranked for his Open Era achievements only)

    All-time:
    Gonzales
    Rosewall
    Laver
    Budge
    Tilden
     
    #16
  17. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Laver, Tilden, Borg/Sampras, Gonzales, (Rosewall).
     
    #17
  18. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    1.Laver,
    2.Budge,
    3.Rosewall,
    4. Borg
    5. Gonzales ( I do believe Federer will supplant him)

    Top 3 players won the biggest events on all surfaces - grass, clay and hardcourt. 4 won numerious times on the two most disparate surfaces, clay and grass. 5 won on everything bar clay. However, he did have three runner-up efforts which beats out Sampras, Kramer, McEnroe, Connors and, to date, Federer

    People claim that players like Rosewall and Laver only had to win on clay and grass. That is untrue. Both of them (and most all of the top players at some stage) turned pro and played Wembley, which was considered to be the world championship of professional tennis. It was played on an indoor hardcourt. Resultantly, those men - Kramer, Rosewall, Gonzales, Hoad, Laver, Sedgman, etc- played what amounts to a hard court 'major'. For the record, Gonzales won 4, Laver won 4 and Rosewall won 6.
     
    #18
  19. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    To watch for me in the mens, Nastase, Gene Mayer, Santoro, Leconte and O. Rochus (Bahrami also I suppose)

    Women-Sabatini, Mandlikova, Mauresmo, Goolagong and Tauziat
     
    #19
  20. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    what were Gonzales' runner-ups on clay? I think Sampras has a case for being ranked higher than him. He did with the Italian(not a major, but was a very big event in the 70s/80s. less so when the atp put it as one of the super 9 in 1990, but still)

    My respect for Laver is growing, now that I can see many of the draws on the itf website. He was amazing on all surfaces, even post 1969-urban pointed to me in this direction, apparently Laver won the Italian Open in '71, beating Kodes in straight sets in the final. Laver & a number of top ranked players were banned from the French that year & Kodes ended up winning the title(he wasn't even seeded at the Italian that year but was #1 seed at the French, which shows how inferior the field was at Roland Garros)
    If politics weren't a factor, Laver may have won 3-4 more majors post '69, he hardly played in them after '69.
     
    #20
  21. TGV

    TGV Rookie

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    I do remember Kramer mentioning Vines when asked during 2004 USO which player(s) from his day could compete with Federer.

    But here - in a 2001 article - he seems to rate Budge as best ever:

    Asked to name his top five grass-court players of all time, Kramer responds: "Without putting them in any particular order, I would have to start with Don Budge. I will never see anybody that played the game better than Budge. My next pick is Ellsworth Vines. Pancho Gonzales has to be in that group. So does Rod Laver. Sampras is right in there with them." He feels Budge would have provided the toughest opposition for Sampras. "He had the best return of serve of all the great grass court players I mentioned."

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010625/ai_n14398833
     
    #21
  22. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    You and scaino are both correct. Kramer has always ranked Budge as the best ever, but he has also stated the Vines at the top of his game surpassed Budge. He does a fuller analysis in his autobiography. Your quote is very interesting, however, because it does seem that Kramer has changed his mind. He has always rated Budge and Vines first, but they used to be followed by Tilden, then Perry, Riggs, and Gonzales. He included Laver only in the second tier of great players. It seems he has backed off in his support of Riggs, who was always a bit of an esoteric pick, as well as Tilden and Perry.
     
    #22
  23. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    its not fair to rate the top 5 of all time when hardly anyone here has been around since the days of fred perry. so the top 5 of all time (my time - '85-current)
    1. Edberg
    2. Fed
    3. Becker
    4. Pete
    5. Agassi
     
    #23
  24. kanjii

    kanjii Semi-Pro

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    mens:

    1-Lendl
    2-Borg
    3-Sampras
    4-McEnroe
    5-Agassi

    women:

    1-Navratilova
    2-Evert
    3-Graf
    4-King
    5-Seles


    Of course...these may change when others retire. Not in any particular order also.
     
    #24
  25. BeckerFan

    BeckerFan Rookie

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    My top five: Tilden, Laver, Budge, Sampras, Borg.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2007
    #25
  26. JZImmer123

    JZImmer123 Rookie

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    Hyung Taik Lee? LOL! Wasn't he the lucky loser in one of those US Opens a while back.
     
    #26
  27. VolklVenom

    VolklVenom Semi-Pro

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    1.Hoad
    2.Federer
    3.P.Gonzales
    4.Sampras
    5.Borg
     
    #27
  28. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    1. Federer
    2. Sampras
    - Connors
    - Borg
    - McEnroe
    - Lendl
    - Agassi

    I know 1 and 2, but the rest is hard.
     
    #28
  29. larlarbd

    larlarbd Banned

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    Sampras
    Sampras
    Sampras
    Sampras
    Sampras
     
    #29
  30. BeckerFan

    BeckerFan Rookie

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    Hm ... seems I've heard this one before.
     
    #30
  31. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    1. Borg/Federer .. two all-courters
    3. Laver
    4. Sampras .. couldn't win on clay aside from Rome once
    5. McEnroe .. at his peak he was amazing
     
    #31
  32. andreh

    andreh Professional

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    Hey, I'm a huge Edberg fan and would like to see him top the list, but I'm curious as to the criteria that would lead you to that conclusion? Or is this simply a subjective list of favs?
     
    #32
  33. fr600

    fr600 New User

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    Federer
    Sampras
    Agassi

    The other two spots are still blank. You may apply now.

    Just kidding
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
    #33
  34. CEvertFan

    CEvertFan Hall of Fame

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    Open Era Only

    Men:
    1. Sampras (Best serve)
    2. Federer (Sublime all around game)
    3. Borg (Fastest player)
    4. McEnroe (Best serve/volley game)
    5. Agassi (Best baseliner)

    Women:
    1. Navratilova (Best serve/volley woman all time)
    2. Evert (Most mentally tough, most consistent and best backhand all time)
    3. Graf (Best forehand and SLICE backhand)
    4. Court (Great serve/volley player)
    5. King (Awesome one-handed backhand and great serve/volley player)

    I would comment on Pre Open era players, but all I know of them is what I've read and I don't feel that qualifies as having enough info to personally rate them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
    #34
  35. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    Sampras
    Borg
    McEnroe
    Lendl
    Agassi
     
    #35
  36. avmoghe

    avmoghe Semi-Pro

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    1.) Rod Laver
    2.) Sampras
    3.) Borg
    4.) Federer
    5.) Not sure....

    I don't know much about Tilden and the other pre-open era greats.. so I've left them out.
     
    #36
  37. EZRA

    EZRA Rookie

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    Location:
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    Men:
    Sampras
    Federer
    Agassi
    Lendl
    Edberg

    Women:
    Navratilova
    Court
    Graf
    Evert
    Seles

    Personal Faves:
    1. GORAN
    2. GUGA
    3. PAT RAFTER
    4. MARAT
    5. KORDA
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
    #37
  38. IcyBox

    IcyBox New User

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    Federer
    Sampras
    Agassi
    Borg
    McEnroe

    personal favourites:

    Muster
    Agassi
    Safin
    Guga
    Rafter
     
    #38
  39. FEDEX1

    FEDEX1 Rookie

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    1. Sampras
    2. Federer
    3. Laver
    4. Borg
    5. Mcenroe/Agassi
     
    #39
  40. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'm looking at this again and I am liking what I have here. I rated open era only, of course. I don't think the two should be combined. Drastically different tennis and no one knows where to rank the likes of Cochet in respect with contemporary players.

    A few more thoughts. I'm leaning towards separating Borg from Federer until Roger shows improvement on clay. Both are all-courters - pure all-courters - grew up on all surfaces, can dominate any tournament. But only Borg could dominate both clay and grass. This is important.

    Laver had amazing lasting power. He won Philadelphia, I believe, in 1974 - it was a 128-man draw and he just waltzed through it. Philly, as some of you may know, was like the fourth slam at the time (much more important than the afterthought Aussie Open). This is one of the forgotten great performances. The interesting thing about Laver is that he peaked closer to the age of 30, while in his twenties he made many adjustments and particularly in his early 20s he struggled against pros like Rosewall and Gonzalez. A very unusual player. His volleying skills aged him well.

    Sampras was amazingly clutch, the heart of a champion, all that clicheed jazz you've already heard. Probably the most 'money' serve ever and whatever struggles he ever experienced would be dissolved once the grass season began and he'd be back to his dominating ways. Sampras played with amazing tempo - he knew when to start and stop and when to turn up the heat a little bit and catch his opponent off guard. This is unlike most players, even Federer, who tend to play at a fairly even tempo. Whereas Sampras would go hot and cold quite often over the course of the match - hot at the most vital of times. Still he was brutal on clay in most of his years. The best player of all time can't be brutal on a major surface. Sorry.

    McEnroe - someone on these boards put it well when he said that if you saw him in his prime on grass you would have sworn he was the greatest. He may have been even greater in the 60s.
     
    #40
  41. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Laver in Philly - 1974.

    Philadelphia WCT, PA, U.S.A.
    GP, 21-Jan-74, I, Carpet , Draw: 128
    R128 Vazquez, Modesto Tito (ESP) N/A 6-4 3-6 6-2
    R64 Borowiak, Jeff (USA) N/A 6-4 6-2
    R32 Drysdale, Cliff (RSA) N/A 6-4 6-4
    R16 Case, Ross (AUS) N/A 6-4 6-2
    Q Okker, Tom (NED) N/A 6-4 6-2
    S Kodes, Jan (CZE) N/A 6-4 1-6 6-4 6-0
    W Ashe, Arthur (USA) N/A 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-4

    Big draw. Huge event. Due to our ignorance we care more for the Aussie Open results of this time than those of Philly and Dallas. Stupid.
     
    #41
  42. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Even though I am awed by Federer ... I have more respect for the players who rose to the top in BOTH Singles and Doubles. So ... here is my group of Top Of All Time. (Yeah. There are six.)

    Laver, Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe, Rosewall, McEnroe

    I *almost* included Budge, Tilden, Vines, Borotra, Cochet and Nastase, but no.

    - KK
     
    #42
  43. ckthegreek

    ckthegreek Rookie

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    Rusedski? :-o :-o
    Agassi better than Sampras? In what way?

    doh! some people
     
    #43
  44. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Semi-Pro

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    I'm only gonna list players who I have watched.

    My Top 5 all-time (in no particular order since I change my mind between the 5 all the time) would be: Borg, Sampras, Federer, Connors, Lendl/JMac/Agassi (any one of these three can be inserted to complete the 5).

    My all-time favorite player though is: JMac

    All-time best at peak of their game: Federer
     
    #44
  45. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

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    id go with sampras, laver, federer, conners, lendl.
     
    #45
  46. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    I always like a good ol' GOAT list:

    Players I've mainly read about:
    In no particular order
    Laver
    Rosewall
    Gonzales
    Borg
    Federer

    Players whose games I actually watched on TV (basically 1975-today):
    Borg
    Lendl
    McEnroe
    Sampras
    Federer
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
    #46
  47. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

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    im starting to see a theme here lol. guga i can see, but not the rest only muster would i consider.
     
    #47
  48. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Interesting, I didn't know Philadelphia had such a big draw in '74-'75, much like Key Biscayne these days...Do you think the field was as good in 1975, when Riessen won the event?

    John
     
    #48
  49. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    Pete
    Lavar
    Federer
    Andre
    John Mac
     
    #49
  50. FedSampras

    FedSampras Semi-Pro

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    Here's the Greatest of all time (Open Era)

    Men

    1. Sampras
    2. Federer (future #1)
    3. Borg
    4. Lendl
    5. Agassi


    Women

    1. Martina Navratilova

    Simply the all around greatest athlete and icon of the women's game. Her Grand Slam titles (in all formats) make her the best, and what she did as far as introducing power-training into ALL of women's sport cannot be duplicated. The best.

    2. Chris Evert

    The most consistent player in Open history (men or women), tied at 18 Slam singles titles with Navratilova, a career 90% win-loss record (greatest of men or women), longest surface win streak of any player (125 clay wins), and winner of at least one Slam title a year for 13 straight years. Seven-time year-end No. 1 player. Greatest clay court artist of all time (7 French crowns). Though Evert was not a truly great athlete, she was a ruthless court tactician--much greater than Hingis. Though Billie Jean King gave women's tennis its great foundation, it was Evert who brought worldwide popularity to the game with both her phenomenal success and her feminine appeal. A superstar who was, in her day, far more popular and light years more accomplished than any Kournikova.

    3. Billie Jean King

    Her many Grand Slam titles are perhaps rightly overshadowed by her power as an ambassador for the game--she made women's pro tennis POSSIBLE and was was one of the all-time fiercest competitors. A pure force of sport--PERIOD.

    4. Margaret Smith Court

    Between 1960 (Pre Open Era) and 1975 won 24 Grand Slams in singles ( a record). Court is one of only three players to have achieved a career "boxed set" of Grand Slam titles, winning every possible Grand Slam title – singles, same-sex doubles and mixed doubles – at all four Grand Slam events. The others are Doris Hart and Martina Navrátilová. Also widely remembered for having that heavily publicized and televised challenge match to a former World No. 1 male tennis player, the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs, on Mother's Day, May 13, 1973.

    5. Steffi Graff*

    Graff is the third woman after Maureen Connolly and Margaret Court to achieve the Grand Slam and won more slams than Navratilova and Evert. However, note the asterisk. Her great accomplishments will always be balanced by the reality that her reign had come to a complete end at the hands of her greatest rival and superior--Monica Seles. When Seles was stabbed, Graff's post-1993 accomplishments lose a luster that will never be regained. Even so, Graff belongs at No. 5.

    5. Monica Seles*

    Seles could well have ended up No. 1 if she had not been nearly murdered on court by a fanatic. By far the most relentless, powerful, and determined player women's Open Era tennis had ever seen, she was cut down before her peak, but in just three years time had racked up 8 Grand Slam singles titles, beginning with the 90 French in June and ending with the 93 Aussie in January. In the process, she utterly and unexpectedly dethroned the great Graff--no contest. She braved everything to come back after a three-year hiatus to add one last Slam in 96, bringing her total to 9 for the Open era (Third behind Graff and Navratilova/Evert). Seles was simply the greatest competitor and power the game had ever seen in her peak years. There should have been many more Slams (and would have been), but we must never forget that it was NOT a "tennis injury" or "accident" that took her out. It was a calculated, deliberate act of human CRIME. Her legacy will live on.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
    #50

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