Which female had the most natural ability in history?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by RAFA2005RG, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    Navratilova? Graf? Seles? Hingis? Serena? Venus? Sabatini? Capriati? Kournikova? Davenport? King? Goolagong? Court? Moody? Lučić?
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  2. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    It depends on what you mean by ability.

    for instance, one could be a natural athletic phenomenon

    or one could have natural hand eye coordination but not be the most natural athlete.

    some have both.
     
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  3. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    You've established what natural ability entails. Now all you have to do is decide which players excel in those categories, and then note which player(s) feature most frequently.
     
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  4. FedererDropShot

    FedererDropShot Hall of Fame

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    Graf.

    Defs...
     
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  5. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    Stick to Nadal mate
     
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  6. Warriorroger

    Warriorroger Hall of Fame

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    athletic abillities I would say Steffi Graf, not even Federer moved as gracefully as she did. Natural abilities, difficult, technically I would say Navratilova and Sabatini, Serena natural power house, she makes it look easy. a lot of words, I don;t think I can answer it :)
     
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  7. underground

    underground Legend

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    NSK ran out of troll threads?!?! :shock:
     
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  8. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    That's an interesting and difficult question.

    I think Hingis' had a crazy amount of natural talent and inate intelligent skill but not the athletic ability.

    Steffi Graf had amazing natural athletic ability, I heard she could have turned to any athletic discipline, she could have been like Heiki Dreksler (German Olympic heptathlete and long jumper). I do find Graf hitting slice backhands all day slightly infruriating.

    Srena Williams has an unbelievably good technically pefrect serve; her ability to apply slice and topspin at pace is a lost art in both mens and womens game because players don't practice it as much due to medium paced courts now, but she came from a different era. Her movement is great but she can look clumsy, but as a result comes up with great improvisation, like a great batsmen in cricket would who has not learned the classic technique.

    Justine Henin would be included for me; the best one hand backhand I've seen on a player, I was lucky to see her play many times on grass, clay and indoors and she was always fantastic to watch. I remember the first time I saw her on tv in 2000 at the Canadian Open and I couldn't believe a small girl was hitting a backhand like that!

    Petra Kvitova today has the potential to be one of the best. When I saw her live, she looks like she is just touching the ball and it flies off her raquet for a winner!! Incredible natural power, she needs to improve her movement and will to win and she could be very special. She loves going to net, which in today's times is something to be cherished.

    Difficult question but the front runners for me would be Graf, Serena, Henin and Navratilova. Hingis just misses out due to lack of natural athletic ability.

    Players I would give special mentions to would be Amelie Mauresmo, Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams, Hana Mandlikova.
     
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  9. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    Just waiting for NSK to point his favorite and compare her with nadal.
     
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  10. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    As predictable as clockwork.

    Cut to the chase, NSK.

    Steffi Graf and Serena are known to be two of the most talented female tennis players, and all won their head to heads with their biggest rival(s), therefore Nadal is greater than Federer?

    /thread.
     
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  11. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    This is tough because they are so many abilities within tennis.
    Power: Serena
    Building points: Hingis. It was so beautiful how she strategized and used the whole court and variety of shots. Her offensive lob was astounding.
    Timing & backhand: Henin.
    Seles changed the game, I think, how it's played.
    Clijsters plays just like a guy --amazing.

    I don't know enough about the great women of yesteryear though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  12. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    I was thinking about Seles but not sure how to put her game into the realms of natural ability, her shotmaking is unquestionable.
     
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  13. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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  14. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    You are correct, sir. Julia has the most perfect natural abilities that I've seen in the circuit.
     
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  15. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    I approve this message. And agree especially about hingis having insane natural tennis skill, but not the athleticism to back it up properly.

    When people call Woz Hingis 2.0 its such an affront Hingis. Woz wishes she could volley 1/4 as well as Hingis.
     
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  16. Polaris

    Polaris Hall of Fame

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    Haven't seen enough footage of Lenglen, Moody or Court to give an informed answer.

    But, the name that always comes to mind for natural tennis ability is Hingis. There have been very few men or women for whom tennis came naturally: no unnecessary bodily contortions, no stupid shrieks or grunts, just an infuriatingly serene manner of redirecting the ball from the racket. Hingis seemed to have more natural tennis talent in her little finger than most of her opponents put together. Physically, mentally and athletically, she would not stand up next to Graf or Evert or Navratilova or Serena Williams, but purely for ball striking and an innate understanding of the court's geometry, she was up there with them, if not better.

    Laurie is right about Hana Mandlikova too. She was great to watch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  17. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    its so weird that a tiny country like switzerland produced a male and female tennis prodigy.

    wonder if you back far enough if hingis and fed are related somwhere...
     
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  18. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Dolgo:).

    I think henin should be in the mix. she was short but very strong and athletic plus having great tennis skills. the best natural athlete was probably graf.
     
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  19. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    If you go back far enough, everyone is related to everyone else. However, Hingis was born in Czechoslovakia to two parents with no Swiss or South African ancestry (as far as I know), making it very improbable that she and Federer have any sort of familial connection.
     
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  20. SLD76

    SLD76 Legend

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    Well drats then
     
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  21. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    In terms of instincts, Hingis.
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    Physically, obviously Serena.
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  22. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Bad table tennis technique from Serena, using a "hammer" grip instead of a conventional shakehand grip.
     
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  23. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    My vote goes to Hanna Mandlikova!
     
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  24. kOaMaster

    kOaMaster Hall of Fame

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    I was always very impressed by Hingis and later Henin, because they may not have had the athletics, the body and the power but it was just a joy to watch their tennis. beautifully constructed points, superb shots and all with an ease rarely seen on courts.

    That said, I have no idea of the womens game pre 1995. I know the stats and watched some matches of the best player but it is just to far back and the interest always lied more on the ATP tour.
     
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  25. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Open Era: Graf
    Pre-Open: Gibbson
     
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  26. President

    President Legend

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    Physically speaking, Graf, Serena, and Venus were all very gifted. Hingis had great tennis instincts that can't be taught.
     
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  27. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Peak Venus was the best raw athlete women's tennis has ever seen! She showed athleticism that no other woman could match at her peak...

    Graf or Suzanne Lenglen the most graceful...

    Best hand eye cordination goes to Seles...

    Best serve overall: Serena...

    Best ground strokes overall: Davenport...
     
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  28. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    I would say Graf.
     
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  29. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

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    Vote for Seles here.
     
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  30. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    ^ This.

    That entire "Swiss Miss" crap was some rather warped PR created for her, as though that made her "special" or "different" (which is the same as crapping on her Czech background). It was pure fiction to anyone knowing her origins.
     
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  31. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    True, but physical gifts alone did not produce their results, as history has witnessed other physically gifted athletes, but were poor on strategy and execution, so they had mild to unimpressive careers (ex. Pierce was no physical slouch, but could not use that to achieve what was always expected of her).

    Graf and the Williams sisters did not come up short in that catagory.
     
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  32. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    LOL...

    but there has to be something in Balkan water when it comes to tennis ability...
     
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  33. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Just natural tennis ability and skills, forgetting size, strength, athleticsm, and mental toughness, all key parts to being a better player and hence why this player is far from the best ever inspite of her impeccable tennis skills, it probably would be prime Hingis. Factoring all the other attributes I mentioned though it would definitely be Serena Williams.
     
    #33
  34. fedfan46

    fedfan46 Rookie

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    there are different aspects to every player listed there. I've never seen navratilova play live, but from the tape I've watched of her, I would have to say she has the most natural ability of those listed. Graf a close 2nd and then Serena. Clijsters was as nimble and agile as I've seen in the womens game
     
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  35. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Vote for the most intelligent and gifted player, Marion Bartoli.
     
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  36. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Henin deserves to be in the discussion. Such natural stroke production. She was able to beat players with much more speed and power because she just had intangible tennis talent.
     
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  37. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    What?

    Come on Ronaldo...

    :confused:
     
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  38. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Although I never saw her play and therefore cannot offer a truly informed opinion on the subject, I'd like to put in a word for Maureen Connolly. Whatever exactly her game was based on -- lethal aggression, wonderful technique, or some combination of these factors -- there must have been something truly special about her gifts. The margin between her and the other female players of her era was enormous. No one wins 50 straight slam singles matches (!) without massive talent.
     
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  39. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Those are about right. Peak Pierce maybe had the best groundstrokes overall, but that appeared one tournament every two years or so.

    Best serve and volley or net rushing game would have to be Navratilova.
     
    #39
  40. THUNDERVOLLEY

    THUNDERVOLLEY G.O.A.T.

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    Now that is funny!
     
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  41. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    henin was a totally different player then hingis. she might have been short but she was really strong and athletic. she was a power player not just because of her technique but also her natural explosiveness.

    hingis had nothing of that. she had a great eye, good hands and great tactical understanding but she was not explosive or powerful at all. she was a great tennis talent but a mediocre athlete.
     
    #41
  42. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Goolagong. :)
    Hingis came to mind second.
     
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  43. 90's Clay

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    Martina probably.. Ridiculous all around talent.. Graf has a case as well. Serena has the most power but doesn't have necessary all around game like graf, martina, or evert
     
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  44. always_crosscourt

    always_crosscourt Banned

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    We all understand why you're making this thread. It's not about women's tennis at all, it's about Nadal of course, because you're a bot and he's all you can think of.

    You will find some link between these female players and Nadal, and find a way to compare them favorably with Federer.
     
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  45. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I agree Henin was more of a power oriented player than Hingis and had alot more power than Hingis, but I dont see any special attribute she possessed that stands out in tennis history. To me she is a combination of a poor womens Williams (speed, power, strength, but less than they have), and a poor womens Hingis (touch, versatility, course sense, timing, genuis, but less than she has).
     
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  46. Netspirit

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    Martina Hingis, no doubt
     
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  47. SoBad

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    Kournikova by far. She was so well-rounded and talented in all aspects of life that she did not have the time to accomplish as much as Seles or Henin did in tennis.
     
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  48. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    Technically, Henin's forehand is at least as extraordinary as her backhand, but her diminutive size mutes the results. Her fh is the closest the women's game has come to Federer's fh in terms of stroke production.

    If course, it's not all "natural", whatever that means.
     
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  49. JMR

    JMR Semi-Pro

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    Henin's topspin backhand was a better tennis stroke than anything any of those three players could produce, with the possible exception of Serena's first serve.
     
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  50. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Oh shame shame RAFARG2005. Abandoning your Rafa avatar and jumping on the Clippers band wagon. So convenient when they're winning. But didn't stick with them through all those sour years? Shame shame on you.
     
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