Which 3 fill out the top 10 all time for women

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by illusions30, Oct 12, 2013.

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Which 3 women fill out the remaining top 10 all time for women

  1. Henin

    43.5%
  2. Venus

    30.4%
  3. Bueno

    13.0%
  4. Connolly

    47.8%
  5. Seles

    65.2%
  6. King

    58.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    True, but the 2003 ao was a monumental choke from 51 in set 3. Worry of novotna. I'd forgotten that the last two matches of the Serena slam both really ought to have been losses. Clutch tennis from Serena, but she also got lucky that Kim and Venus couldn't close it out.

    On Venus v Henin in career terms: another advantage for Henin was that she won 3 of the 4 slams, and Venus only won 2 of them
     
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  2. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    You are right there could be a carryover and chain effect and alot of things that might have changed. I am not sure how you get Serena being better in 2001, but alot of things could happen. Graf staying past 1999? I guess it would depend on alot of things. If she had 19 or 20 slams, and still had atleast 4 of each slam, she would probably retire, as she would probably be trumpeted as the GOAT, which contrary to her false claims of humility I believe strongly she was just as obsessed with as Navratilova (Nav. just shows it publicly far more). On the other hand if she had less than 18 slams (less slams than Navratilova and Evert), yes it is quite possible she would keep playing. I honestly think had Graf beaten Davenport in that Wimbledon final and only been 1 away from Navratilova's Wimbledon record and Court's slam record she would have kept playing; but after losing she didnt feel the energy to keep going and put in the effort needed. Especialy as Court's slam record was being poopooed by most people anyway (rightly or wrongly) and so Nav's Wimbledon record had she felt it attainable would have been the only real motivation at that point. I dont really know how Graf would have matched up with Venus in 2000 and 2001, but obviously she would be a bigger potential threat at Venus's pet slam than Seles. Venus improved from her 99 level though, so Graf would have had to as well, as they were pretty even that year. The only way she would have done that would be to stay healthy for an extended period, which at that point was dicey for her at best.

    My only point though was that since the Seles stabbing is brought up in discussions of the careers of Graf and Sanchez Vicario, whether Graf should be GOAT, and how Sanchez compares to Mandilikova, Davenport, and similar types, then Hingis who is most likely the 3rd biggest beneficiary after Graf and Sanchez, shouldnt be completely ignored as well. Add to that even without that I find Venus's career more impressive (and unlike you I do value both doubles and peak play to a degree, especialy when players are close in singles, and Hingis's case she is already behind even in singles IMO) and I would never think of ranking Hingis over Venus. No way.

    You feel Goolagong and Hingis should be close to Henin and Venus, but any all time best lists I have seen dont indicate this. I havent seen an all time best list that has Hingis or Goolagong even close to Henin and Venus since 2004 or 2005 now. Henin and Venus are always put way ahead. I atleast see why that is the case, and agree with that, and dont feel they are in fact close. Hingis and Goolagong are prettier to watch and I like them more. I dont particularly enjoy Venus's error prone brutish game, or Henin's wannabee mini babe playing style either. However in the end Henin and Venus had easily the more impressive careers, and were more impactful players for longer than Goolagong and Hingis were.
     
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  3. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Venus vs Henin is pretty simple for me. If you dont value doubles highly, Henin > Venus. If you value doubles quite highly (not equal to singles of course, but give it a substantial amount of importance when singles careers are close enough) than Venus > Henin. If you are somewhere in the middle on doubles than I guess it is tough to choose between them.

    Henin definitely had the better overall and more complete singles career though.

    I do think Henin and Venus are the only ones you could even argue sneaking into the top 10 over one or both of the consensus bottom of top 10 people- Seles and King (Connolly cant be questioned, I am stunned the OP even put her on the poll). Hingis and Goolagong have no even small arguments for possible top 10 IMO. I dont think I would even have Hingis top 15.


    As for Davenport she was never winning the 3rd set of the 2005 Australian Open final. Her chance was in the 2nd set where she blew many opportunities to widen her lead, go back up a break, and that was the end of the match with Serena playing better, and Davenport tired from all the sets of tennis (including doubles) she had leading into the final. U.S Open 2004 she was injured, but she still should have toughed out Kuznetsova after going up 3-0 in the final set. The injury only affected her movement, which sucks at the best of times anyway. I saw the match and IMO she still could have won it even with the injury, especialy over the mentally weak opponent she was facing who can be easily rattled.
     
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  4. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I basically agree. Just a few things: perhaps serena wouldn't have won the us open in 1999 had Seles not been reduced and Graf entered. All speculation, but it's possible. And if she didn't win it, she Might have been more motivated in 2001 than she was. That's why I raised her as a potential challenger in 2001.

    You are right that Hingis should be behind. I think it is 1. Henin, 2. Venus, 3. Hingis.

    I'd have to take a closer look at goolagong's records than I have in a while to talk about her meaningfully.
     
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  5. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    The two problems I have with Goolagong, especialy being compared to a fully legit 7 slam winner like Venus or Henin are:

    1. 4 of her 7 slams at the Australian Open (not a real slam then, the same reason Court's slam record is discredited)

    2. Was never really Worlds best player, other than some would say 1971. Venus was by far the Worlds best player in 2000 and 2001. Henin was probably the best in the World the entire mid 2003-2007 period, minus 2005.

    Had it not been for those two things she would easily be up with them, and possibly even ahead, but those are two glaring issues.
     
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  6. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I do value doubles. But I think it's a different category. So for singles, I would say Henin over Venus, and for doubles obviously Venus by a mile. I don't combine them. If you do combine them, then Navratilova and court must be way ahead of Graf overall.

    I also don't count Davis cup titles, because of the team effect. I would count individual Davis cup performances. For example, becker's great display in Davis cup in 1989 is relevant to the #1 question for that year.
     
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  7. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Well even giving doubles high value, some people would still go with Graf since she has 22 slams to 18 for Navratilova, which is a major difference, and her overall much more balanced slam record, plus winning the Grand Slam which is a glaring hole on Navratilova's resume. While Henin and Venus are both 7 slam winners. As for Court, if you live in the U.S or Canada as I do, you are aware she is potrayed more like a 16-18 slam winner here, and I am sure you know the reason for that whether it is fair or not.
     
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  8. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    It's not much of a combination in which 4 singles slams outweighs 30 doubles and 10 mixed! I can't support using doubles as a tiebreaker only. Either it is worth roughly half of what singles is, or it's a separate category.

    Anyway, I'd rank Navratilova over Graf on singles alone, but I suppose that would embroil us in another Seles stabbing discussion, so it's best left at that.
     
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  9. AngieB

    AngieB Hall of Fame

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    Maureen (of course), Billie Jean and Maria. Maria Bueno is often overlooked by those born after 1975. Its another reason why I picked her.


    AngieB
     
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  10. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I think Graf is overrated. She is the consensus GOAT of the vast majority of people, which I believe is wrong. I am just stating what I believe most peoples line of reasoning is (that 4 slams and the other things I said are substantial enough that doubles really isnt enough to make the difference).

    I am not sure what credit people that value doubles give to doubles. I dont believe it is as much as roughly half what singles is though. Given that Gigi Fernandez and Natalia Zvereva types make the Hall of Fame for doubles alone, and what the current Hall of Fame standards are (one of the best 1 slam singles winners or usually a 2 slam or more singles winner) I am going to roughly guess people who value doubles might see doubles achievements as 10% of singles? Which would probably make the difference for Henin vs Venus, but not for Navratilova vs Graf.
     
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  11. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I view doubles as an entirely separate but related. Sort of like both a sprint and a marathon are both track events, both involve running but entirely different events that have no bearing on each other. Its just too hard to separate out the contributions of the teammate, to know just how much a specific player deserves credit or how much one player gets hit to, in important game/ set points. if opponents usually prefer to send most traffic to Shriver instead of dominate Martina on big points, can you credit her with exactly 50 % of the credit in a major final? Finally, a distinguishing characteristic of singles tennis is the notion that once play starts, it is only your mind and your decisions that carry the day. No coaching, no teammates, no access to tactical or strategic data. Its all you and your control that is tested. Doubles compromises all that. You don't know who the brains of the team were, who was the emotional center, who was the wildcard.


    All of my GOAT rankings pretend doubles was never invented, unless otherwise specified.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  12. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Here's my top ten to date, I think:

    1 Martina Nav
    2 Steffi
    3 Chrissie
    4 Maggie Court
    5 Serena
    6 Billie Jean
    7 Little Mo
    8 Suzanne L
    9 Helen W
    10 Monica

    I chucked in a couple of the real old-timers just for good measure...
    :)

    Maria B, Justine, Evonne and Venus just outside the ten on my list. Maybe some of them have a good claim to be top 10...
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  13. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Most people may say that Graf is the greatest of all time. I strongly disagree. If Serena were to have another three years as #1 and pick up five more Slams and 25 or so ordinary tournaments (with at least one more WTA Championships for good measure) that would, I hope, make most people unsure of whether to rate Graf or Serena more highly.

    At any rate, Serena is certainly the best of all time, just as certainly as she isn't the greatest of all time.

    It may also be the case that most people think doubles is worth 10% of singles. (Even if that's the case, Navratilova's doubles achievements would thus draw her level with Graf, as she had 10 times as many extra doubles Slams as Graf has singles Slams). But I think it's a silly argument. My preference is for counting doubles as a totally separate category. If it is to be included as part of an overall category, it has to be weighted seriously. 50% of singles (i.e. 33% of the total) may indeed be too much. I could accept a view that said that the total for doubles is half of the total for singles, and so for each player doubles is 25% of singles (i.e. 20% of the total). Really, though, I think it's best just to weight doubles totally separately. Especially as, when you include doubles, you have to start wondering about whether to include mixed, and how to weight each partner's contribution to the doubles team, and whether doubles counts the same for men and for women, bearing in mind that men play best of five, and it's just too complicated.
     
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  14. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Pretty good list but I could never see King even possibly being that high. Mo, Lenglen, and Wills Moody are clearly above her IMO. She just wasnt anywhere near as dominant a player as they were. Plus as some earlier posters said she is so lucky she played in such a grass heavy era. She would never have been as effective in an era that had a mix of hard courts, clay, and grass, as them main surfaces. King #9 absolute maximum for me. No competition and all losing 1 match for 7 years like Lenglen and Wills both did is amazing, and something I cant imagine King doing in any era. Connolly was on her way to winning 35 slams and being the best ever without her accident. She is another level to King.

    I really have no idea which order I would put Navratilova, Graf, Court, and Evert in. I am fine with any of those as #2 or #3, but dont think any deserves #1, yet I guess you have to give one of them #1. Here is my problem and why I am not comfortable naming any as the #1 though:

    Navratilova- Even had the Australian Open been a real slam back then, Court and Graf would both have better slam records than Navratilova. Evert and Wills in many ways too. It could be argued outside of Wimbledon Navratilova's slam record everywhere else is inferior to the other 3, which makes it hard for me to put her #1.

    Graf- She vultured so many slams after the Seles stabbing with virtually no competition. I would have been fine if Hingis or Davenport emerged earlier, or had someone better than Sanchez been her main rival. She didnt get any competition again until the very end of her career, and while she proved she could compete with them she didnt even play long at that point. She played no doubles.

    Evert- Hard to put her #1 when Navratilova proved almost beyond a doubt she was a better tennis player during her 80s run of dominance over a still prime Chris, regardless how their overall stats and careers compare. Like Graf played no doubles.

    Court- Didnt leave the kind of legacy at any of the big 3 slams that Evert (French and U.S Open), Navratilova (Wimbledon), Graf (French and Wimbledon) left. The Australian Open situation has already been pointed out by many others so I wont even bother. Her slam record isnt really respected by people for that reason though, and most give credit to that to Graf despite having her own asterisk. And she is the only one of these 4 who didnt even reach 100 tournament titles despite playing in an era women had 20-25 year long careers.

    So who to give it to? I dont really think anyone deserves higher than #2 and am not comfortable giving the #1 to anyone, so I will just go along with what others pick there.
     
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  15. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I badly want Serena to become the #1 all time. Not just because I am a big fan of hers, but as I said in my above post, I am not really comfortable with giving it to anyone else. Sometimes you have the dilemna too many people potentially deserve something, but right now I feel there are 4 or 5 people worthy of #3 all time kind of ranking, and nobody who really deserves to be #1.

    I agree with you Serena is probably already the best player ever. Not close to the greatest yet though. It is all in her power to become that though. If she does what she should do, and doesnt get a huge injury, she should become both the greatest and best ever.
     
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  16. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    The best ever is almost always the most recent dominant #1, as improvements in technology, diet, and so on raise the level of performance.

    Results wise, Serena does still have a way to go. I know that she doesn't have to get all the way to Navratilova's 167 titles or to Evert's 157, or even to Graf's 107, but she surely has to be closer than she is now. Unless she were to end up on 80 titles or more, that would at least be something of a case against her, too. It is harder to win titles en masse than it was, because the game's more physically demanding, but Serena only just overtook Davenport's title haul.

    Also, Serena has still only been the year-end #1 three times. I know that the rankings are flawed and that she may well have merited the top spot in 2008, 2010, and 2012 as well, but we have the rankings for a reason, and so should grant them some credence. [I don't think you can make a good case for Serena deserving #1 in 2003. You can argue that she would have merited it had she not missed half the year injured, but the fact remains that she did miss half the year injured, and as a result Henin put together a better body of work. Even missing half the year injured in 2010, Serena still probably put together a better body than did anyone else]. So, I'd say that Serena needs to be year-end #1 at least two or three more times.

    As for Serena's longevity, it may still be too early to tell. She did just give us the best year of a 30-something since (at least) Court's 1973, and so she should still be #1 next year. But compare with Navratilova: in 1989, at 32, Navratilova was still quite a bit ahead of anyone but Graf. But by 1992, she'd not only slipped well behind Seles as well, but had been caught up by the likes of Sabatini and Sanchez. If we compare with Serena, we could say that part of Serena's dominance is the result of not having a younger rival on a par with Graf or Seles. Azarenka is surely on a par with Sabatini and Sanchez, though, so by 2017, when Serena is 35 until late September and Azarenka is 27 until late July, it's likely that Azarenka will be just as good as Serena is. And there's still a chance that, by 2017, someone better than Azarenka will have emerged, and if that has happened, that woman will surely have an edge on the 35-year-old Serena.
     
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  17. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Its a fine list and I can accept any of the first 7 or 8 as top dog, but I do agree with Robert on BJK. She does not have the clay/ slow court balance to her legacy I like to see. Everyone on that list has at least two wins at RG and a few other tier one or equivalent titles to their credit. All but Serena have at least 3 RG finals. BJK did not like playing in the dirt, and it sure shows glaringly now with a 75% w/l record. She played it 7 years and only twice won her QF match! Monica has the opposite problem of course but she has 76% record at Wimbledon. I'd push all those old timers right past and leave King at 9. But of course I also put doubles in an entirely separate league, if you put doubles/mixed in the works then King goes right back up there!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  18. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I dont think Serena has much a case for #1 in 2010 actually. Only 2 tournament wins, and only 6 tournaments played. Not enough to even be the "real #1", let alone the computer one with a far better ranking system. However I would agree she was clearly the #1 player of 2008 and 2012, regardless what the rankings say. In 2003 she was probably the best player, but Henin definitely deserved the year end #1, probably due to Serena's year ending injury.

    I only respect rankings to a point. For instance if Djokovic ends this year #1 over Nadal (which I dont expect to happen btw) I (and pretty much all experts) will give that ranking no respect whatsoever, and disregard it completely, as it is so completely wrong and impossible to justify. Connors was year end #1 5 times to only 2 for Borg, but everyone treats that as a bogus stat, that has no bearing on reality and the relative greatness of the two players as well; just as they should. Everyone knows the real #1 of 1989 was Becker, not Lendl. Everyone knows Graf was the paper #1 in 1994 over Sanchez Vicario, who was clearly that years #1 player. I cede to rankings when I disagree, but it is close and there is an argument for so and so, but otherwise I will not. So in Serena's case I agree she still does need some more time at #1, but I would refuse to say she was only the games best player 3 different years or that she needs 8 computer years at #1 like Graf.

    I agree she needs atleast 80 tournament wins. 2 more year end #1s and something close to 100 more weeks at #1, would be more than good enough when it comes to that stat. I believe she is capable of all that, she already is a virtual guarantee for atleast 40 weeks at #1 next year by virtue of her total dominant points lead and dominance to end this year anyway.

    I dont think Navratilova was far superior to Sabatini or old Evert in 88 and 89. She lost a good share of matches to both women, and Sabatini especialy made a similar number of big finals and semis, and in fact I thought Sabatini was the real #2 of 1988, not Martina. She was behind Graf by a much larger margin than she was ahead of the rest.

    We can only speculate how a 31 or 32 year old Serena would fare vs the 88 or 89 version of Graf, but as things stand now Serena is by far the best 30 something player we have ever seen, and she is quite capable of continuing it. How the competition evolves is impossible to determine, but Azarenka might end up being a 6 slam winner despite her virtual inability to beat Serena, and then people will be saying how amazing Serena was in her 30s more than she had weak competition. With Serena the biggest issue as always will be injuries. Also who knows if the womens field will improve. There might be alot of reasons for the lack of up and comers in both mens and womens tennis now, and they might not be fixed anytime soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
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  19. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    robertharris and BTURNER, thanks for your opinions.
    I'll have a look at the old-timers records again and compare them to BJK's.
     
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  20. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Good point about Serena in 2010. Who else could be #1, then? Clijsters?

    About Navratilova: I deliberately said 1989 and not 1988. Navratilova lost motivation at the worst possible time: at the start of 1987, just when Graf was starting to be a real challenger, and her form for the next two years was fitful. By the time she regained full focus, her maximum level wasn't as high, and Graf had well surpassed her. I would say that although Navratilova's highest level in 1987 (displayed in the Wimbledon and US Open finals) was much higher than it was in 1989, her average level in 1989 may have been higher. After Roland Garros, Graf was the only player to beat Navratilova in the rest of 1989!

    Sabatini may have merited #2 in 1988 (although I would myself put Navratilova slightly ahead), but she did not do so in 1989.

    Put it this way: had Graf broken her leg while warming up for the Australian Open and been out for a year, then I'm pretty confident that Navratilova would have won both Wimbledon and the US Open, and probably the WTA Championships, too. We'd then be looking at her being a convincing #1 at the age of 32. Not as dominant as in 1983, 1984, and not quite as dominant as 1982 or 1986, but on a par with 1985. And yet, even had Graf and Seles both missed the whole of 1992 through injury, then the very best Navratilova could have hoped for would have been to win an isolated Wimbledon, and even that would have been by no means guaranteed.

    The point, in any case, is that Navratilova, the last player to be close to the top well into her 30s, was much better at 32 than she was at 35. So, even if Serena is still a dominant #1 in 2014, it's still too early to be confident that she can be as good in 2017. Perhaps she can, given that, as you say, there are obstacles to younger players breaking through, but we will have to wait and see.


     
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  21. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Clijsters has the best case for #1 in 2010. She won U.S open, YEC, Miami, 5 overall tournaments, and played throughout virtually the whole year. Wozniacki won 6 tournaments, but didnt make the slam final, so is a weaker case. My rankings would be:

    1. Clijsters
    2. Wozniacki
    3. Serena

    Although someone on the WTA forum did a calculation under a new suggested ranking system (I forget the details but it was far superior the current one) and under this persons calculation the rankings would have been:

    1. Clijsters (barely)
    2. Serena
    3. Wozniacki

    It also did not require a player winning a slam to be #1. Wozniacki had she won the YEC under his system would have been year end #1, but by failing to do that only reached #3. Interestingly under this persons system Wozniacki would have only been the year end #5 in 2011 behind Kvitova, Sharapova, Na, and Azarenka, which is about where most people think she deserved to be.


    Interesting to see Henin almost tied with King on this poll. While King has the greater achievements, I do think Henin is a better tennis player than King. Had they been in their primes under balanced 90-2007 court conditions, Henin would have been better on everything but grass. Maybe carpet would be a toss up. Henin would also be better on grass than King on clay, despite that King won a French Open in a weak year where most of the top clay courters didnt play. On hard courts Henin would the better player, she has no real technical weakness, while King has that funky forehand that wasnt a good shot. People forget when Henin retired at only 25 people were debating who was the best player of this era- Serena or Henin, and it looked very likely in the future it was going to be Henin as she had basically caught Serena and looked like the better player going forward at that point. Now many are saying Serena is the best ever or on her way to being that, which just shows how strong Henin was in her prime.

    I also believe Venus is a better tennis player than King too, although due to her inconsistency King would possibly still have had the better career had they been in the same era. Venus would love 3 of the 4 majors on grass though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
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  22. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    True, but it's at least plausible to suggest that Henin's catching Serena had a lot to do with a string of injuries for Serena, followed by loss of focus due to her sister's death, and that the Serena of late 2008 onwards would anyway have wrested the initiative back from her.

    Also, Henin had had a pretty miserable start to 2008 even before her surprise retirement. Sharapova pretty much demolished her in Australia, only a few weeks after Henin had edged Sharapova in the final of the Year-Ending Championships. That was probably Sharapova's best-ever tournament, as she really did come to play, and it's unfortunate that her shoulder injury occurred later that year. But, even so, a disappointing result for Henin. Then, she lost to Schiavone and Safina, while Serena absolutely demolished her in Miami.

    Henin would still have been favorite for Roland Garros 2008, but after that her poor form might have caught up with her.

    So far as I recall, her retirement was the biggest surprise retirement since Borg's, but in both cases there had been some ominous recent results.
     
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  23. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Goolagong was equally dominant on all surfaces and made four straight US Open Finals in addition to her seven slam singles titles and seven slam doubles titles. Not her fault she overlapped Court, King, and Evert. I have her at #10.
     
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  24. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    When you think about it though all Henin had to until 2011 atleast to stay #1 was keep winning Roland Garros, playing consistently and having consistently good results, and she probably would have never lost #1 in that span. Slamless Safina spent most of 2009 at #1 due to the real best player Serena only caring about the big events, and 2 slams and the WTA Championships being her only titles. Wozniacki was #1 in 2010 due to Serena ending the year playing only 6 tournaments, and her 2 titles being her 2 slam wins, due to injury. Serena missed most of 2011, and the worst ever #1 Wozniacki was still there at years end (even though Kvitova was the real #1 that year).

    Henin would have had a great shot to break Evert's French Open record and make a stand as the possible best ever clay courter. She may have already been past her peak on other surfaces, but she probably could have won atleast a couple more big titles on those too. If she somehow managed to win at Wimbledon, and her time at #1 was doubled or more what Serena's is, playing in the same era, the debate still might be going on between the two. As it is I far prefer Serena to Henin and am glad Serena is entering the debate of best of all time rather than best of her own era vs Henin.

    You are right Serena was way below par for years and that is what allowed Henin to catch up, but Serena jumped out to a huge lead in the 99-2002 period when Henin was not really at the top level yet, which is why she was still arguably ahead in 2008 despite that Henin had been by a good margin the better player for almost 5 years solid by then. In many ways Serena and Henin in their primes together (if that is how it would have developed had Henin continued mid 2008 onwards) probably wouldnt have crossed paths that much. Only on hard courts would we have seen the rivalry develop more, and only in the slams and Miami. Henin was a tour workhorse like the hopeless #1s of recent years, but actually won big titles unlike them. Serena hadnt been a tour workhorse for almost a decade until this year. This would have likely allowed Henin to continue dominating the #1 ranking unless she suffered a massive decline, as she is far superior to the Safina, Wozniacki types, yet she is willing to play just as much, and is even more consistent than they are. Henin dominates clay, and can win big hard court events when she hits peak form, and when she doesnt often flames out relatively early. Serena is dominant on grass, and also is there for the win often in big hard court events. Both would have probably compiled alot of achievements, while probably not even playing that often.
     
    #74
  25. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    BTURNER, thanks.
    These lists can all depend on how people judge careers, peak play, era they played in, longevity, opposition etc. Personal interpretation. It would be no good if people just blandly agreed on these things.
    BJK was primarily a grass champion, but she did win a French. Having said that and looked at quite a few Grand Slam events, some of those Paris events of the early 70's were a bit weak though.
    And that's a problem for me in rating Lenglen and Wills so highly.
    Lenglen won some of her Wimbledons in the Challenge Round days. Come on, how does that compare to BJK going through 6 and 7 matches in the 60's and 70's Open era and competing against Court, Bueno, Jones, Goolagong, Evert etc. Tougher competition surely.
    Lenglen and Wills only played ONE match ever against each other. Lenglen won it and from what I can gather, Lenglen (or those in her circle) avoided Wills from then on. Is that true? If the quality of Court's Australian wins can be disputed here so readily by some people (and with some justification, because some of those AO events WERE weaker), then Lenglen and Wills can be too, in the interests of fairness. Lenglen may have been a more talented player than King, but greater career? Lenglen was a sensation in her day, like Jack Dempsey in boxing. Big question is does she deserve to be so high on top ten lists these days? By most accounts, Lenglen was more talented than Wills/Wills Moody.
    Many of Wills US Championships in particular look soft to me too. There were plenty of byes, wins over players of unknown quality (to myself anyway) and women often played over just six days! Event over in six days. How many matches did Wills play to win those championships, 5, 6, what? On successive days or not?
    How tough was the competition in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923 etc? How deep?
    Until I have the answers to these questions, I hesitate to demote BJK who won 129 singles titles at least and who did so much for the game as well.

    I will however put Little Mo above Billie Jean on reflection though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #75
  26. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    No need to run down BJK. She was a great player in singles and doubles for 20+ years and was a figurehead and pioneer for the women's game.

    Justine Henin was a very strong player, but Serena is just a little greater on most surfaces.
     
    #76
  27. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    King is a great player, and the most important ambassador for womens tennis ever (although the latter should have nothing to do with this thread which should be strictly tennis ability related IMO), but I think playing in any environment since 1987 Henin would be the superior player if they were put in their primes together. I mean even before the massive slowing of surfaces. I couldnt see King being a better player on anything but grass, and possibly carpet. So those who are voting for Henin over King on this poll, I can see where they are coming from. If you go by achievements it would be King, but if you go by who would likely be the better tennis player on most surfaces of the two it is Henin. Do you really see King being better than Henin on clay or any speed of hard court, or even the indoor (not usually carpet) conditions of today?

    Yes looking at things now Serena is better than Henin by a good margin, but that isnt the way things were looking before Henin retired. Henin had been the better player for a good 5 years at that point (and not just on clay) and pretty much caught up to Serena in achievements. It would have been interesting what would have happened had Henin continued playing, and with Serena returning to form (which already started in 2007 where she still lost to Henin in 3 slams on 3 different surfaces). I doubt Henin could have lasted into her 30s at the top level like Serena has though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #77
  28. Xavier G

    Xavier G Semi-Pro

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    Henin is, of course, a greater player than King was on clay, and would be the pick on hard courts too. The game has changed a lot even since the 80's when Billie Jean was still playing.
    For me, this topic is about combining level of play (taking eras into account) + career achievements. BJK had a greater career than Justine. I did consider Justine for a place in my top ten initially, along with a few others.
    As for Henin and Serena, peak Justine 2003 and also 2006+2007 was very strong. 07 was probably Henin's best year ever with 3 wins over Serena in the Slams. Justine just couldn't get it done at Wimbledon though while Serena did win ALL four in a row 2002-03 and has won again in Paris since. In fact, Serena loves the clay now. It took until 2007 for Justine to get her first wins over Serena on surfaces other than clay. It's a shame Henin couldn't maintain this form longer. Justine returned again and lost to Serena in that epic AO final 2010. Peak Henin was a great player and did indeed compete evenly with Serena back then.
    Serena has stepped it up these last couple of years again- she's chasing the record books now.

    robertharris, where is YOUR top ten by the way? I don't see it.
     
    #78
  29. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    My top 10. Well I already said I have a tough time picking a #1 so I guess I will go with:

    2. Navratilova, Graf, and Court (tieing them all for 2nd, as that is the average of 1st to 3rd, and as I said am not comfortable giving any of them 1st)
    4. Evert
    5. Serena (moving up fast and could easily be given #1 if she just reaches 20 slams and gets another year end #1 IMHO)
    6. Wills Moody
    7. Lenglen
    8. Connolly
    9. Henin
    10. Seles

    That would probably be my top 10. King and Venus just missing out. Bueno would make my top 15. Goolagong with 4 of her 7 slams at the then not real Australian Open, and only 2 weeks at #1, would barely make my top 20, if she even did.

    Just one note on Henin not getting her first win over Serena off clay until 2007. It is not Henin's fault Serena was completely AWOL in 2004-2006 when Henin was much stronger, and so AWOL they didnt even play. Lucky for Serena she didnt meet Henin for almost 4 years considering the relative form of the two players. Serena in 2007 was actually the strongest Serena had been since 2003, and we still saw what happened when she met Henin. Henin might have ended up winning the 2010 Australian Open final over Serena had she broken early in the 3rd set, and that was with Henin just starting a relatively poor comeback which would never see her come close top form, and when Serena was unbeatable to anyone else on tour at the time.



    BTW for anyone wondering why I have Henin over Seles (I already explained why I have King below both Henin and Seles):

    1. I believe Henin was the Worlds best player 4 different years- 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007. Seles only was twice- 1991 and 1992.

    2. Henin's performances at Wimbledon and grass in general, her worst surface, are so far superior to Seles's. Henin is thus a better all surface player.

    3. Henin has the Olympic Gold, and Seles is missing that along with Wimbledon.

    4. Henin IMO faced a far deeper field having to face all of Serena, Venus, Davenport, Clijsters, Sharapova, all great 4+ slam (I know Davenport only has 3 slams but she should have more) caliber players, all relatively close to the same age as her. Seles only faced Graf, and nobody else when she was winning slams.

    I dont doubt without the stabbing Seles would be way ahead of Henin though and probably 5th or 6th best on the list (atleast), while overrated Graf would be no higher than 3rd or 4th, but if we go with what ifs Connolly would probably the be the runaway GOAT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #79
  30. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    1. 2004 and 2006 are obviously pretty debatable, though, and even 2003 benefitted from Serena missing half the year injured. On another note, you seem to rank all years as the top player as equally significant, whereas it could be said to be noteworthy that Seles was a dominant #1 in both years that she was #1, whereas Henin was only a dominant #1 twice (with one of those including the aforementioned Serena caveat), and that that level of dominance that she did achieve was some way off that Monica achieved.

    2. The first sentence is certainly true. The second does not necessarily follow from it. I'm not saying it's wrong, but that there are myriad ways of interpreting "better all-surface player" and you focused on one of them. You could argue that Seles was outstanding on two, or even three, surfaces, whereas Henin was only outstanding on one. It's not obvious that a distribution of 1 > 2 > 3 >>>>>>> 4 is worse than one of 1 >> 2 >> 3 >> 4. (In other words, even though Henin's performances on grass were better than Seles' were, Seles' were probably better on both hard and clay than Henin's were, and arguably on carpet, too). Had Henin ever won Wimbledon, as she should have done, then I would agree with you. But Henin being good on grass shouldn't be allowed to disguise the fact that she never won Wimbledon either.

    3. An Olympic gold does not make up for two Slams and one Year-Ending championships, especially because it wasn't taken that seriously when Seles was first around. She didn't even play it in 1992, when she would most likely have won it had she played. The courts in Barcelona were really slow and high-bouncing, which helped Capriati beat Graf, by reducing the effectiveness of Graf's slice backhand. But Capriati probably needed a faster court to help her against Seles.

    4. Agreed, certainly.

    I see you still put Graf ahead of Seles even with the stabbing. Bearing in mind that, on 30 April 1993, Graf had 11 Slams and Seles had 8, that Seles had won 7 of the previous 9, including 7 of the previous 8 that she'd played, that Seles was at least double-defending champion of all of the Australian Open, Roland Garros, the US Open, and the Year-Ending Championships, and that was triple-defending champion of all of them bar the US Open, that Graf's form in 1993 was mediocre at best, and that Graf was six weeks shy of her 24th birthday, while Seles was only four months past her 19th, I doubt that a great deal.
     
    #80
  31. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Well obviously Graf's career is miles ahead of Seles. I couldnt put Seles anywhere near Graf without looking like an idiot. What would have happened without the stabbing is a whole other topic. I cant even comprehend what kind of list once could make that could put Seles over Graf though. It would require putting Graf below alot of people that are almost unthinkable putting her below as is now, and putting Seles over some people that you never think of her being above as well. The closest I could see them being is dropping Graf to about 4th (which would be quite reasonable) and raising Seles to maybe 8th (the only ones I could see her being over are King, Henin, and Lenglen). What would your top 10 look like. If you would put Seles over Graf I am definitely intersted to how you would arrange the others to make that even possible.

    BTW I agree the Olympic Gold in itself is nowhere near the value of 2 slams + 1 extra WTA Championships. The key to it in this case is it adding to the completeness of a career. Seles is missing 2 of the 6 biggest titles and Henin is only missing 1, so in this case it adds to the overall picture of their careers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #81
  32. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Of course you couldn't put Seles ahead of Graf, but I was commenting on your claim that Graf would have been 3rd or 4th had it not been for the stabbing and that Seles would have been 5th or 6th. I guess I misunderstood what you were talking about.
     
    #82
  33. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    My top ten would be Navratilova, Court, Graf, Evert, Connolly, Lenglen, Moody, King, Seles, and Williams. I'm still thinking about the order, and will post it when I am done.
     
    #83
  34. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Well I think Seles would have won Wimbledon once max. I do think Graf would have gotten atleast a 3rd title at both the French and U.S Opens at some point. Graf also had more longevity as a top player than Seles would have. I am not convinced of Seles winning a slam past say 1998, or even being a consistent top 2 or 3 player. She might have, and I am not discounting the possability, but I am also not sold on her having that kind of longevity. I also do not think Seles would have ever had a better year than Graf's 1988 or 1989, or won the Calendar Slam.

    Based on all those things if both finished with roughly around 16-18 slams I think Graf would be rated higher by most people.


    Interesting that you rank King over Henin. Do you think King would have been a better player than Henin under the most all time neutral and varied court conditions and surfaces of 1988-2005? I guess I am not sold on what King would be able to do off of grass, and that is part of my reservations on her. It is also why I have doubts about Nadal who plays on alot of psuedo clay courts today, but atleast in his case he is technically winning multiple big titles on what is officially a non clay (hard court or grass court) surface.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #84
  35. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    You may be right about Seles at Wimbledon, because her limited reach would have made her struggle with low balls. But I actually think there would have been a chance of winning Wimbledon in 1993. Why? Well, if the draw had worked out differently, then Novotna might have played Graf in the semis rather than in the final. Graf was playing pretty lousy tennis, and Novotna great tennis, and it's certainly possible that Novotna would have won that semi, because she might only have choked with the trophy so close. Then Novotna might have choked against Seles in the final.

    This would probably not have been a likely outcome, because it would depend on the luck of the draw and on Novotna not choking, but it's not implausible.

    About King and Henin: I think you may well be right that Henin would do better under neutral conditions, and I completely agree with you about Nadal (I'm confident that he'd never have won either Wimbledon or the US Open without the changes to the courts at both tournaments), but I was just judging on their records.

    To be fair to Nadal, the move from rebound ace to Plexicushion may have cost him a title or two in Australia.
     
    #85
  36. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Well note I said I saw Seles probably winning only 1 Wimbledon max. I didnt say she would have for sure never won it. I think she might have won either 93 or 94, and then that would be it. Still wouldnt measure up to Graf in that sense who I still believe would have won each slam atleast 3 times (not sure if she still would have atleast 4, and if she didnt her GOAT arguments would be out the window almost completely). I still believe overall Seles would have had a career less impressive than Graf, even if she ended up with the same or slightly ahead in slam titles. That is where my rough estimates for their probable ranks would have been came from.

    Why do you think Nadal would benefit from rebound ace vs plexicushion. Isnt rebound ace supposed to be the faster surface, although it might also have had a higher bounce. Is it because of how strong Djokovic is on plexicushion, and to a lesser extent Murray, that costs him?
     
    #86
  37. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    You may be right about Seles and Graf. I mentioned Wimbledon 1993, because I think that, had Seles won it that year, there's a decent chance she'd have won the calendar Slam.

    At Roland Garros, the only players who could conceivably have stopped her would have been Graf and Sabatini. But Graf played poorly at Roland Garros, especially in the final, and unless we attribute her poor performance to Monica's absence, I think we have to conclude that Seles would have beaten her had they played. As for Sabatini, had the draw worked out differently, she might not have played Fernandez in the quarter-finals and might not have choked, but she'd choked against Seles in 1992, lost to her as well in 1991, and so although her chances weren't non-existent, they weren't great, especially as 1993 saw the start of her decline.

    At the US Open, I can't really see anyone other than Graf having beaten her, especially if Monica were three-quarters of the way to the Slam. Graf's form at the US Open was again fitful. I know that she beat Seles on their two post-stabbing matches, but she really did barely get the 1995 job done, and she was probably in better form that year than in 1993, plus Seles's fitness meant she couldn't really compete in the third set.

    About Nadal in Australia: remember that I only said "might" not "definitely would have". But, yes, I think that Djokovic and Murray have been greater obstacles, that the increased height of the bounce on rebound ace would have helped him, and that the decreased speed on plexicushion hasn't done so as much. Then again, I don't think the change is anything like as significant as it is at Wimbledon or the US Open.



     
    #87
  38. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I dont think Seles would have won the Calendar Slam in 93 at all.

    French Open I would call 75-25 in Seles's favor. She had been sick for a couple months, so I wouldnt be certain she would be in peak form there. Anyway Graf wasnt exactly in great form at the 92 French either and still nearly beat her there. So Seles's probably wins there but it isnt a sure thing. BTW I dont think Graf's form at the 93 French was that bad at all. She beat a very good Capriati (who was already stagnant in her game and growth mind you) in straight sets in the quarters, then crushed Anke Huber in the semis losing only 3 games. She had a tough final vs Fernandez, but Mary Joe was playing some of her best tennis ever the final 2.5 matches of that event, and it is not like she has never given Seles trouble over the years (both pre and post stabbing) or tough matches in slams (91 Australian, 97 French, one other I forget. She just isnt ever either tough enough or good enough to win them. She was a top 5ish player for several years running in that period though. Graf's play in the 1st set of the final was pretty poor, but she was dreadful in the first set of the 92 final, and an error machine the first half of the third set. She lost a 6-0 set to Sanchez at the 92 French, and had another tough match with a rather obscure opponent. So I dont see how her form at the 93 French was any worse than 92, and I am not sure whether Seles after 2 months off and less than a month of preperation for the French would have even been as strong as 92. I think Graf would much rather play Seles on clay than rebound ace which is the worst surface for her to play Monica on by far.

    Wimbledon I would go with 70% Graf winning and 15% for both Novotna and Seles perhaps. Novotna was mentally stronger vs Seles than Graf, and never seemed intimidated her. Even pre stabbing when Jana wasnt much of a top player she took Seles 3 sets in both their encounters (neither on grass). She was clearly intimidated by Graf and Navratilova however (although despite that she beat Martina at this Wimbledon for the only time ever). If Jana played Graf in the semis and Seles in the final she might have won. Seles would have had an outside shot too. I see Graf winning as she did the most likely scenario by far though.

    U.S Open I would call 50-50 between Graf and Seles. Graf has never lost to Seles on a faster court, and I think her form in the final was quite strong actually.

    Either way I see 2 or 3 slams for Seles in 93, definitely not 4. Others are free to their own views on that though.


    I am hoping Nadal or Murray win the Australian Open. I am bored with Djokovic's dominance there. Just like it would be nice to see Djokovic win the French to break Nadal's dominance there. I have a feeling the former is much more likely than the latter though, and the latter almost certainly wont happen until 2016 at the earliest.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #88
  39. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    As it happens, at the start of 1993, a friend had asked me what I thought the results would be, and I said that I thought Seles would win the Australian and US Opens, and that Graf would win Roland Garros and Wimbledon! My friend predicted that Seles would win the calendar Slam.

    Anyway, we will of course never know, and it's probably best not to speculate too much.

    I would like someone other than Nadal, Djokovic, or even Murray to win the Australian Open, unlikely though it may be. I can live with Djokovic or Murray winning, but I'd prefer someone like Del Potro.

    If Djokovic doesn't win one of the next two Roland Garroses, I don't think he'll ever win it. It's rare to win a tournament for the first time at 29, and even though there are structural obstacles to younger players breaking through, I'd say that by that time Nadal is more likely to lose to someone from a younger generation than he is to lose to Djokovic.

    There's a good chance now that Djokovic won't win Roland Garros. He had good chances in each of the last three years (although in 2012, he was basically dependent on them continuing to play in drizzle), and now that he hasn't managed to get it done, I think it will just get harder.
     
    #89
  40. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I wonder if Nadal will end up breaking Federer's slam record mostly through Roland Garros. I could see something like 12 Roland Garros titles and only 1 more non clay slam. I hope that isnt the case if that happens. I would rather see him at 10 or 11 Roland Garros titles and 3 more non clay slams if he reached 18 or 19. If Djokovic doesnt win Roland Garros though Nadal will probably reach atleast 11. I dont see any new winners (besides Djokovic possibly) on the horizon there right now.

    I would like Del Potro to win another slam, but I dont think he will unless he wins a Masters first. Then again 2 slam winners who couldnt win a Masters arent unheard of. Kafelnikov and Johan Kriek are two. I think Del Potro has a better shot to win Wimbledon or the U.S Open anyway though. The conditions in Australia are too hard for him, and I dont see him beating Djokovic (a bad matchup for him in general) on his favorite court.

    Why did you pick Graf to win the 93 French but Seles the 93 U.S Open before the year began? Wouldnt the general feeling at the time be that Graf was more likely to beat Seles at the U.S Open than the French? I would think someone who picked Seles to win the U.S Open would also have picked her to win the French, and conversely someone who would have picked Graf to win the French would pick her to win the U.S Open as well (thinking of early 93 type thinking). Of course such unofficial patterns dont always follow out, so the proposed scenario was still quite possible too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #90
  41. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I don't agree that Wimbledon is the Slam that Del Potro's second most likely to win. Okay, he's played pretty well in the last two tournaments there, but before that he was pretty ropey (see the 6-3 6-2 6-3 demolition job by Ferrer as late as 2012), and even this year he kept falling over. Besides, I think that Del Potro's power is so great that if he works on his fitness and his footwork and tries to avoid being the male equivalent of Davenport or Sharapova, he can play well in Australia and at Roland Garros. He wasn't far off winning Roland Garros 2009. It's probably true that he'd need someone else to beat Djokovic in Australia, but I think he can beat everyone else there. On clay, he could even match up better against Nadal than Djokovic does. Djokovic does better than Federer because of having two hands on his backhand, but Del Potro has the additional advantage of being officially 6'6" and actually 6'7", which means that his strike zone is that much higher. I would favor Djokovic over Del Potro on clay at their respective bests, but I might say that Del Potro has slightly more chance of pulling the upset over Nadal.

    I think that the idea that Seles doesn't do well on fast courts is a post-stabbing reconstruction. She didn't do well on grass before the stabbing, but that was because the bounce was irregular and it was hard for her to make quick adjustments on low balls. She actually did well on other fast and medium-fast courts. She wasn't triple-reigning champion of the Year-End Championships and double-reigning champion of the US Open for nothing. Besides which, Graf had really struggled in the two previous US Opens (losing to 34-year-old Navratilova in one and losing in straight sets to then clay-court specialist Sanchez in the other), and I still think that Roland Garros was her second most successful Slam for a reason: her slice could dig into the top soil and so keep lower on clay than a drive would, whereas on hard court her slice would just stay in the hitting zone.

    Also, it's my recollection that the US Open was speeding up over the course of the 1990s. I know for sure that the Ashe stadium was faster than Armstrong [quite the opposite of today, by the way], so the conditions were faster from 1998 onwards, but I also think that it was increasing in speed in previous years.
     
    #91
  42. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    I just dont see Del Potro as being fit enough, either physically or mentally, but moreso physically, to win a couple best of 5s at either the Australian or French vs Djokovic and Nadal, especialy if he had to play those back to back. I think he is improving greatly on grass. I would have never said Wimbledon was a good shot for him even a couple years ago, but he played some really good tennis at Wimbledon 2011 and 2013. Ferrer is often a very tough matchup for Del Potro, so I would read the 2012 result more to do with that, than the grass.

    I also see no evidence thus far he could match up better vs Nadal on clay than Djokovic does. Yes Del Potro is tall and strong enough to handle Nadal's wicked spin, especialy on the backhand side. Yes he could maybe hit through Nadal even better than Djokovic at times can, as he has even more raw power when at his best. However the reason Djokovic has become such a tough opponent for Nadal on clay is mostly since he has became a roughly equally good defender, even on surfaces like clay, as a now slowed down Nadal. He can grind with him and hang with him in longer points. I dont see anyway Del Potro could do this, he would have to win it on offense alone which is incredibly hard to do vs Nadal on clay. Del Potro's backhand is also overall not at the same level as Djokovic's which is so outstanding, so while Nadal wouldnt break him down, it also wouldnt hurt him to the same degree; and he would still target that side and move Del Potro around. He also doesnt hit the backhand down the line or change direction of the ball nearly as well as Djokovic does.


    It is possible Seles not being as strong on faster surfaces is a post stabbing reconstruction. However I look at someone like Capriati who could barely get games off Seles each time they had met on clay, but never once in the early 90s lost easily on a hard court, especialy a faster one (I am sure had they played at the Australian in 92 or 93 Seles probably would have walloped her mind you). Whether this was more due to Capriati or Seles is hard to say, but it is not like Capriati was a bad clay courter (Olympic Champion beating Graf and Sanchez in 92, French Open Champ and could easily have become a 2 time many years later).
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #92
  43. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    Ah, well the Djokovic of 2011 would probably have had the best chance of beating Nadal on clay, and in fact I think that had Djokovic beaten Federer in the semis (and, by the way, despite how well Federer played, I think it's conceivable that Djokovic's lose owed a good deal to Fognini pulling out so that Djokovic hadn't played a match in five days), then Nadal would have been underdog in a match at Roland Garros for the only time.

    However, I don't think that Djokovic has the patience to grind as much now as he did in the past. Even the set that he did win at the US Open basically depended on hitting through Nadal, which was just about possible on the "fast clay court" there (to quote Serena). If Djokovic regains his grinding ability, you may be right.

    A fair degree of ability on a surface is how comfortable you feel on it. As an Argentinian, Del Potro grew up on clay. He thus feels at home on it, and that can help overcome technique to an admittedly limited extent.

    I didn't say that Seles was as good at the US Open as at the Australian and Roland Garros. She may have been slightly less good. But the difference was small. And in my view Graf was also better at Roland Garros than at the US Open. (In fact, since I said that Graf had had two bad US Opens in a row prior to 1993, it occurred to me that she had actually had four in a row that weren't outstanding by her standards. In 1990, she lost to Sabatini, and even though she won in 1989, she had to come from 6-3 4-2 behind against a 32-year-old).

    Seles pre-stabbing might have been: Roland Garros = Australian Open > US Open = Year-End Championships >>>>>>> Wimbledon.

    Graf might have been: Wimbledon > Roland Garros > US Open >>> Australian Open.
     
    #93
  44. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    A big question of Graf's potential GOAT claims had the Seles stabbing not occured is if she could have still managed her "4 wins at all 4 slams" record. I honestly believe that is the only reason people regard her as GOAT today. That and having 22 slams, while Court's 24 is lowballed by people due to the Australian Open factor (rightly or wrongly).

    If Graf didnt still attain that specific record, and didnt win 18 or 19 slams minimum I dont see anyone calling her GOAT today. She isnt the only person to win the Grand Slam, and the whole Golden Slam thing is silly, mostly an invention from Graf fans. She doesnt have the best longevity ever, nor the most consistency. She doesnt hold the record at any of the slams.

    So one interesting thing to wonder is if Graf could have still managed her 4 for 4 record without the Seles stabbing. To do so she would have had to:

    Australian Open- win the 94 final vs Seles, as she was a non factor here mostly due to injuries every future year. While I generally regard Seles as the better rebound ace player, the good news for her is she was in smoking form in the 94 event so might have been able to do it, but what would have happened in the 93 slams would have alot to do with whether she was still in that form.

    French Open- Would have had to still in 99, and atleast 1 of 95 and 96.

    U.S Open- Would have had to win 2 out of the 3 of 93, 95, and 96.

    I guess it would still have been possible but my bet would be probably not. If she misses even 1 of those 3 marks, none of which would be certain, she doesnt get that record, and without it I doubt she has any GOAT claims today.


    I agree Djokovic would have beaten Nadal in the 2011 final btw. Hilarious that Federer of all people would be the one to save Nadal at RG. I agree Djokovic's game is changing and is increasingly being less well equipped to beat Nadal on clay. I think he issued more of a challenge this year than 2012, simply since Nadal was coming back from a non layoff. Nadal in his summer hard court form translated to clay, would probably not have been threatened by Djokovic on clay at all as he played this year.

    If someone not named Nadal or Djokovic wins a RG title anytime in the next 3-5 years (depending how soon anyone new emerges) it would have to be Del Potro. It sure as heck wont be Murray or Ferrer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
    #94
  45. helterskelter

    helterskelter Professional

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    I was about to say that the analysis of ability across surfaces depends on matchup. It makes sense to me that Seles would rather play Capriati on clay than on hard, especially fast hard, but might rather play Graf on hard, especially slow hard, than clay.

    Seles would prefer a slow surface against Capriati, because Capriati could attack the ball consistently on both sides, and so the slow court gave Seles more time to chase the ball down, and thus exposed her limited reach because of the double-handers less. Seles would prefer a natural surface against Graf, because Graf didn't drive through the ball on her backhand much, and mostly sliced it. Slice tends to stay lower on natural surfaces than on artificial ones, although of course it stays lower on a fast hard court such as at the US Open than on a slow or high-bouncing one such as at the Australian Open.

    Given that, I'm not sure that Graf would have won the 1994 Australian Open even had she played as well as she did. Sanchez wasn't going to blast the ball past her off a high-bouncing slice, while Seles would have done.

    Yes, I deliberately said that Djokovic's chances in 2012 depended on continuing to play in the drizzle because Nadal's level in 2012 was much higher than in 2013. Even though Nadal had the better of the match for most of the 2013 semi, Djokovic got to within six points of winning, and the conditions couldn't possibly have favored Nadal more than they did. Djokovic even seemed to me to have caught the sun a bit by the end, and looked a bit dazed by it. Had Nadal played as well as he did in 2012 or later in 2013, he'd have won more easily. (Djokovic might have pushed him in Monte Carlo anyway because it had rained all morning).
     
    #95
  46. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Maggie Court was one of the three women to hold the GS right?

    Well.Maria Bueno beat her in straights at the 1963 US Open and in three sets at the 1964 Wimbledon final.

    That speaks for herself.
     
    #96
  47. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    That is impressive but it isn't unprecedented for a 7 slam winner. A 7 slam winner should be good enough to beat anyone several times, including the more legendary players with around 20 slams. If they weren't they never would have won 7 slams in the first place. Just like Henin has beaten Serena 4 times in slams, and is the only player ever with a winning slam record vs her.

    Hana Mandilikova has won only 4 slams, has never ranked higher than #3, but she has beaten Evert and Navratilova a combined 7 times in slams, all when both women were in their primes too (Evert until 86, Navratilova until 87). She also beat a young Graf on a 30 match win streak at the 86 French.
     
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I love Hana.Thanks for reminding her and how painfully she wasted that Godgiven talent that should have make a player with a better focus and menthality the greatest player who lived.
     
    #98
  49. robertharris

    robertharris Banned

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    Hana was also unlucky to peak at the same time Navratilova and Evert, perhaps the two best players ever, were both at their peaks. Someone like Austin while super unlucky to have her career finish very early with injury, was also a bit lucky to peak when Navratilova and Evert were not playing nearly as well.
     
    #99
  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yeah.Still, and that is a tribute to her own greatness, Hana, as you mentioned, beat the arguably the three best modern players at majors and several times (Navratilova,Evert,Graf) and she also handled Jaeger and Austin.

    In a weaker era, who knows how many big titles she wins, but I still prefer her to be part of the great era she shared with those three great champs.A pitty she could never play more times Evonne Goolagong, as anticipated by that great match at 1980 Wimbledon.
     

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