Who would have the edge in their primes- Navratilova or Jankovic

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafselesfan, Sep 28, 2009.

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Who would have the edge in their primes- Navratilova or Jankovic

  1. Navratilova

    76.9%
  2. Jankovic

    23.1%
  1. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
    #1
  2. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    I thought you were trying to be serious like julesb in that prior thread, but having read the two linked posts, now I understand. People are clueless. I saw Martina in her prime live. I've seen some of today's players too. Martina was so fit during her best years it was scary.
     
    #2
  3. LDVTennis

    LDVTennis Professional

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
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    Those posts you've cited are not as unreasonable as you think they are.

    Here's the problem:

    Martina was a serve and volley player whose groundstrokes were developed to approach the net.

    Jankovic's groundstrokes were developed to play a consistent baseline game, with some ability to create winners from the baseline with her backhand dtl.

    Under today's playing conditions, there is no clear-cut winner in this matchup. Personally, I would give the edge to Jankovic because she has an exceptional ability to redirect the ball. So, she'd figure out how to pass Martina at the net, particularly from the backhand side.

    Under different playing conditions, let's say those of the early to mid-80's, Martina might have the edge. In that scenario, Jankovic's chances against Martina would be the same as those of Chris Evert or Tracy Austin, both consistent baseliners.

    But, that's not what you want to hear. You want to hear that Martina would have the edge regardless of the playing conditions. Here's the problem with that claim. Martina did not possess the swings of a typical baseliner. She had a loopy forehand and a so-so, one-handed backhand drive. Her forehand was supposed to be her better groundstroke, but we're not talking Steffi-Graf-like.

    If Martina was forced under today's playing conditions to be a baseliner, I think she would have been an above-average player. Anything more would depend on overcoming the technique she had on both her groundstrokes --- the loopiness on her forehand and changing from a one-handed to two-handed backhand.
     
    #3

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