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NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 02:40 PM

Top 10 women players of all time at this point- where would you place Serena
 
Now with Serena climbing upwards who would be your top 10 women players of all time. Mine would be:

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

I think Serena will soon be #1 all time though.

pc1 10-05-2012 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6937871)
Now with Serena climbing upwards who would be your top 10 women players of all time. Mine would be:

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

I think Serena will soon be #1 all time though.

I've know a number of old time experts do believe Serena at her best could be the best of all and I also believe that is possible.

However Serena, aside from the majors hasn't done nearly as much as many of these players. I don't think she had any shot to surpass Court, Graf among others. Look at Navratilova. She's won 167 tournaments and 18 majors. Her winning percentage I believe for her career is around 87%! I believe Serena has won over 40 tournaments in her career with a much lower winning percentage than Navratilova. Serena does have a good chance in my opinion to catch Navratilova as far as majors are concerned if she stays healthy.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6937892)
I've know a number of old time experts do believe Serena at her best could be the best of all and I also believe that is possible.

However Serena, aside from the majors hasn't done nearly as much as many of these players. I don't think she had any shot to surpass Court, Graf among others. Look at Navratilova. She's won 167 tournaments and 18 majors. Her winning percentage I believe for her career is around 87%! I believe Serena has won over 40 tournaments in her career with a much lower winning percentage than Navratilova. Serena does have a good chance in my opinion to catch Navratilova as far as majors are concerned if she stays healthy.

if Serena reaches 20 majors IMO she is the hands down best ever. In reality Navratilova, Evert, Wills, Graf, and Court all have roughly 18 or 19 majors if you deduct the extra slams Graf gained by the Seles stabbing and Court gained by the phony Australian Open of the 60s, so she would have the most majors in history. That combined with clearly the highest level play even considering the era she plays in (excluding clay), already the most longevity of any women player in history, having no losing or equal head to heads vs any key rivals which isnt true of any other great in history, and dominating by far the toughest womens field in history in the 99-2003 period, is more than enough.

kiki 10-05-2012 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6937871)
Now with Serena climbing upwards who would be your top 10 women players of all time. Mine would be:

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

I think Serena will soon be #1 all time though.

1.Court
2.Graf
3.Connolly
4.Navratilova
5.Lenglen/Wills
7.Evert
8.Williams
9.Bueno/King
10.Lambert/Marble/Hotchins
Seles never won Wimbledon.Hingis won it.Hingis never won RG ( she was robbed), Seles did.

pc1 10-05-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6937903)
if Serena reaches 20 majors IMO she is the hands down best ever. In reality Navratilova, Evert, Wills, Graf, and Court all have roughly 18 or 19 majors if you deduct the extra slams Graf gained by the Seles stabbing and Court gained by the phony Australian Open of the 60s, so she would have the most majors in history. That combined with clearly the highest level play even considering the era she plays in (excluding clay), already the most longevity of any women player in history, having no losing or equal head to heads vs any key rivals which isnt true of any other great in history, and dominating by far the toughest womens field in history in the 99-2003 period, is more than enough.

You can't just forget about the other tournaments. Serena's record outside of the majors is not what it should have been. So if Serena reaches 20 majors and let's say she won 60 total tournaments. Is two extra majors better than Martina Navratilova's extra 107 tournaments won? And Navratilova faced Evert, King, Court, Goolagong, Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario, Wade and did extremely well. It was very tough competition.

kiki 10-05-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6937903)
if Serena reaches 20 majors IMO she is the hands down best ever. In reality Navratilova, Evert, Wills, Graf, and Court all have roughly 18 or 19 majors if you deduct the extra slams Graf gained by the Seles stabbing and Court gained by the phony Australian Open of the 60s, so she would have the most majors in history. That combined with clearly the highest level play even considering the era she plays in (excluding clay), already the most longevity of any women player in history, having no losing or equal head to heads vs any key rivals which isnt true of any other great in history, and dominating by far the toughest womens field in history in the 99-2003 period, is more than enough.

King,Evert,Court,Navratilova.That is longevity.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pc1 (Post 6937914)
You can't just forget about the other tournaments. Serena's record outside of the majors is not what it should have been. So if Serena reaches 20 majors and let's say she won 60 total tournaments. Is two extra majors better than Martina Navratilova's extra 107 tournaments won? And Navratilova faced Evert, King, Court, Goolagong, Graf, Seles, Sabatini, Sanchez-Vicario, Wade and did extremely well. It was very tough competition.

Navratilova had 90% of her career greatness achieved in 82-87. She did NOT have remotedly tough competition most of this period. 1983 is still probably the worst year in womens tennis history, yes even worse than 2009-2011, well apart from Martina's historic brilliance itself. The 4 slam finals this year were Evert-Jacouvec, Navratilova-Jaeger, Navratilova-slumping Evert, Navratilova-Jordan. The first 3 slam finals saw the loser win an average of 3 games, by far the best slam final of the year was actually Jordan vs Navratilova, lol! During this whole stretch of time her only competition was Chris who was in a major slump 82-early 84, and who was in her 30s late 84-86, Mandlikova in late 85-early 87 as from 82-early 85 she was mostly outside the top 5 even in a field with literally no depth, a 16 and 17 year old Graf in late 86-87, and the best of the rest was Shriver who was the perennial #3 or #4 of the Navratilova era, and Jaeger for a couple years. The way you say it one would think she faced that field all at once, someone like Court was retired from pro tennis 12 years before Seles turned pro, LOL, a large number of those players were never even on tour together, let alone semi prime rivals of a prime Martina at any point, and Martina's glory days in the game in no way involved the majority of people you listed, especialy not people like Court or Seles.

This is nothing like Serena who has had a period of weaker competition, but from 99-2007 won her slams in a field that included Henin and Venus in their primes for many years alongside Serena, two top 15 players of all time, Sharapova, Clijsters, Davenport, Hingis, Mauresmo ,all numerous slam winners and sure hall of famers, Seles and Pierce for awhile still as major contenders.

Now I do agree even considering the times Serenas tournament total count sucks, and could be a mark against her. However you need to stop comparing tournament totals to current players exactly. Players from the past ALWAYS have many more tournament wins than players of today, why do you think that is, it cant be they are all miracelously so much better. The game today is far more physical (I did not say better, in fact I dont like the overly physical aspect of the game today in many ways) making it virtually impossible to play virtually every week as players of the distant past did. Injuries are much more rampant, especialy for those who dare to try. Virginia Wade has won many more tournaments than Justine Henin, a women who did play very regular schedules for current WTA standards, do you think for a moment Wade who was the regular whooping girl of every legend of her era, and who basically won atleast 2 of her 3 slams by slipping in the cracks when numerous people were absent, is anywhere near the player Henin is. You have mentioned many times how many more tournaments Lendl and Connors have won than Federer, do you really believe they are much better players though. The examples could go on forever. A women could come around who could win 30 slams and I still doubt she would win 199 tournaments as Court did, or even around 160 as Evert and Navratilova did. It simply isnt feasible today.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiki (Post 6937915)
King,Evert,Court,Navratilova.That is longevity.

Serena has won her slams over a 13 year stretch now (1999-2012). In 2002 she dominated tennis, winning 3 of the 4 biggest events and all 3 she played. In 2012 she dominated tennis winning 3 of the 5 biggest events.

Navratilova won 15 of her 18 slams from 1982-1987. She did not have a single multiple slam year or single non Wimbledon slam outside this period. Even her long stretch of her first to last Wimbledon of 1978 to 1990 has now been surpassed by Serena at the U.S Open. From what I value in longevity anyway MN is nowhere close in that category to Serena and also ranks below Court, Evert, and Graf. Choosing to play tennis into your 30s as a pretty good player who doesnt win any major events any longer doesnt give you more longevity than a player who began dominating as a teenager and continued to dominate over 3 different decades of both time and her own lifes age.

Graf won slams from 1987 to 1999. Impressive, again 1 year short of the stretch Serena has already extended hers to. However her first multi slam year was 1988 and her last was 1996.

Evert won her first slam in 1974 and last in 1986. Again impressive, and again just like Navratilova and Graf, 1 year short of the mark Serena has already set and will likely stretch out further. Evert's last time ever as the best player in the World was 1981, and her last multi slam year was 1982. Didnt win a Wimbledon or U.S Open ever again after 1981 either.

Court comes closest of all to Serena I would say. A 3 slam year in 1962 and another in 1973.

King won her first slam in 1966 and her last in 1975. Played many years, but again playing many years and not embarassing yourself (any legend can probably even play into their 40s and hang on tour as a decent player if they choose probably) is not what I value in longevity.

So best longevity:

1. Serena or Court (soon will clearly be Serena)
3. Graf
4. Evert
5. King
6. Navratilova (in Open Era, in history she is alot lower than this even)

Note I am talking longevity, not consistency. Serena will never be anywhere near the best in the consistency category, I will admit this. Just like she wont be anywhere near the best ever in the tournament wins category. Some knocks against her but so do all these others. More and more people are already talking about Serena as best ever as it is. I dont feel that way yet, but if she does reach 20 slams it will be a slam dunk. Anyone disagreeing will be spitting in the winds of an overwhelming consensus.

90's Clay 10-05-2012 04:44 PM

1. Graf
2. Navritilova
3. Evert
4. Court
5. Willis
6. Serena


She's up there.. Bouncing around the top 5-6 slot. She just doesn't have the career that some of the other women have.

dangalak 10-05-2012 05:38 PM

How is Henin inferior to Venus?

Far superior in weeks at #1, same number of majors, won 3 out of 4 instead of 2 out of 4. Venus only made 1 final at AO and FO each. Henin made 2 finals in the major she didn't win and took a set in both (hell was serving for the match against Mauresmo)

What is most important is that Venus hasn't made a major final outside of SW19 since 2003. Once she passed her peak, she was incapable of even being a factor outside of grass. Compare that to Henin who straight after her comeback managed to make finals at AO and took a set from Serena.

Then there is the fact that she dominated a year completely (2007) Venus has never dominated a year to such an extent.

Finally, Henin also did that in much less time.

The only thing Venus has over her is number of majors finals. Without only 1 final each at AO and FO and 11 weeks at the top, no way she is better than Henin.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dangalak (Post 6938156)
How is Henin inferior to Venus?

It depends what you value I guess. However when you look at them vs past greats Venus clearly stacks up better. Despite having less overall achievements and 2 fewer slams one could even suggest Venus is better than Seles considering her 9-1 record vs Seles, destroying her and far outclassing her in match after match, which even considering this was Seles past her prime still leads one to wonder how even a prime Seles would manage vs Venus. Meanwhile Seles is 4-3 lifetime vs Henin. All those matches in the early 2000s when Henin was much closer to her prime than Seles, and still she has a losing record. So one could never imagine comparing Henin to someone like Seles, and as Seles is near the bottom of the top 10, that means Henin clearly couldnt be in it. Venus meanwhile could be argued to be as good just based on sheer ability as some of the bottom of the top 10- King, Seles, Connolly, while not being as far behind in achievements as she is compared to Graf, Court, Navratilova, Serena to be completely discounted. In short some would argue Venus as a top 10 player, and nobody would argue Henin as one, which already leads to strong likelihood Venus will end up higher.

Now comparing Venus to Henin directly it depends what you value.

Peak level of play- Venus

Dominance at peak- Henin's 2007 was more dominant than any year Venus had, but Venus had two years she was considered dominant player (2000 and 2001) vs only 1 for Henin. Even

Consistency- Henin probably.

Longevity- Venus by alot.

Versatility- Henin by a bit.

Both have 7 slams and 43 singles titles. However Venus has an amazing doubles career on top of that while Henin has no doubles career of any sort.

Venus has won the Worlds most prestigious tournament 5 times. Henin 0 times.

Their H2H is 7-2 Venus, another huge plus for Venus.

Lastly who will be more remembered 10 years from now. Who did more to impact the game and raise the level of the womens game. That is a no brainer.

dangalak 10-05-2012 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6938175)
It depends what you value I guess. However when you look at them vs past greats Venus clearly stacks up better. Despite having less overall achievements and 2 fewer slams one could even suggest Venus is better than Seles considering her 9-1 record vs Seles, destroying her and far outclassing her in match after match, which even considering this was Seles past her prime still leads one to wonder how even a prime Seles would manage vs Venus. Meanwhile Seles is 4-3 lifetime vs Henin. All those matches in the early 2000s when Henin was much closer to her prime than Seles, and still she has a losing record. So one could never imagine comparing Henin to someone like Seles, and as Seles is near the bottom of the top 10, that means Henin clearly couldnt be in it. Venus meanwhile could be argued to be as good just based on sheer ability as some of the bottom of the top 10- King, Seles, Connolly, while not being as far behind in achievements as she is compared to Graf, Court, Navratilova, Serena to be completely discounted. In short some would argue Venus as a top 10 player, and nobody would argue Henin as one, which already leads to strong likelihood Venus will end up higher.

Now comparing Venus to Henin directly it depends what you value.

Peak level of play- Venus

Dominance at peak- Henin's 2007 was more dominant than any year Venus had, but Venus had two years she was considered dominant player (2000 and 2001) vs only 1 for Henin. Even

Consistency- Henin probably.

Longevity- Venus by alot.

Versatility- Henin by a bit.

Both have 7 slams and 43 singles titles. However Venus has an amazing doubles career on top of that while Henin has no doubles career of any sort.

Venus has won the Worlds most prestigious tournament 5 times. Henin 0 times.

Their H2H is 7-2 Venus, another huge plus for Venus.

Lastly who will be more remembered 10 years from now. Who did more to impact the game and raise the level of the womens game. That is a no brainer.

1. Bro, you know that Venus was at her absolute peak, while Henin wasn't even in her prime. :) This is also the reason why I cannot look at the H2H or the fact that Venus crushed Seles while Henin has a losing record. I mean, put Henin from 2006-2007 against early 2000s Seles, and she beats her just as well.

2. I'm not sure if we can use the "most pretigious tournament" thing anymore. First of all, we all know Venus won more Wimbledon's since her best surface is grass, not really because she is a better player.

This isn't like the 80s, where players routinely skipped certain majors because they couldn't be bothered. These days, the ultimate goal is to win a slam, period. You will not see players skipping majors without an actual injury. (I guess that post Henin's retirement, FO could be called "the least prestigous major" :lol:)

About women's tennis and 10 years later: you won't believe how many tennis fans I have seen that claim they stopped caring for women's tennis after Henin retired.

And if you are going to mention subjective and soft factors such as this, might as well mention the significance of Henin reaching the physical level that she did while being so small. Of course there is a big chance that she didn't do it without assistance :) (and I say this as a fan, more or less) but even so, being able to be a threat and defeat even a post peak Serena Williams while being so physically inferior has to be mentioned as well.

Venus being remembered more has probably more to do with he blood ties to Serena, her race, he superior looks, her nationality and her personality. Don't think that should be considered.

And I completely forgot the doubles. By that logic, she is CLEARLY superior to Henin. But in singles, Venus vast inferiority in weeks at the top (which mattered back then) and clear lack of success in some of the slams put her behind Henin.

But that is a moot point, your original list is right.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 06:39 PM

Well like I said do you agree or not agree there could be a case for Venus being over Seles, especialy given how one sided their history is (even considering Seles was past her prime). Meanwhile there is no case for Henin being above someone like Seles or King, so Venus can be put in the top 10, Henin cannot. I think past greats like Graf, Seles, Evert, Navratilova, would all have a ton of trouble with peak Venus because her power, speed, and athleticsm probably surpasses all of them. I dont think any of those at their peaks would have much or any trouble with peak Henin however, she just doesnt bring anything to the table they couldnt handle. Henin is basically a poor women Hingis except with more power than Hingis. If you look at only Henin and Venus together it might seem like Henin has a shot in the comparision, but when you throw the other all time greats in there too, Venus clearly stands in much beter stead than Henin IMO.

As for doubles when players are virtually inseperable in singles, then doubles is a tiebreaker, especialy when there is the vast difference there is with Venus and Henin.

The 4 slams are all roughly equal today but Wimbledon is still the most prestigious. The biggest hole you can have on your resume of all is a failure to win a Wimbledon title.

dangalak 10-05-2012 06:45 PM

I doubt that they would not have trouble with Henin. She wasn't quite Venus, but she her power and athleticism also surpassed most of the players of the past. Peak Henin beat Serena and Venus back to back without dropping a set. Even if Serena wasn't playing well, Venus wasn't exactly playing like crap. Even if she isn't as great as them, I think that Navratilova, Evert would have a lot of trouble with peak Henin. Seles wasn't going to pick on Henin's backhand like she was doing against Graf.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 06:48 PM

Well in 2001-2003 Seles and Henin played 7 times. Seles's prime was 1990-1993. Henin's was 2003-2007. So Henin was way closer to her prime than Seles, and Seles still leads the head to head. Also in 2003 they played a match in a fast carpet final and 30 year old Seles in her final year on tour, injured, in pathetic shape, and losing to Koukalova and being killed 0 and 4 by Petrova in her final 2 slams, barely lost a tight 3 setter to Henin, and 2003 is Henin's 2nd best year ever! Based on that evidence I cant see Henin not being owned by prime Seles.

dangalak 10-05-2012 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NadalAgassi (Post 6938274)
Well in 2001-2003 Seles and Henin played 7 times. Seles's prime was 1990-1993. Henin's was 2003-2007. So Henin was way closer to her prime than Seles, and Seles still leads the head to head. Also in 2003 they played a match in a fast carpet final and 30 year old Seles in her final year on tour, injured, in pathetic shape, and losing to Koukalova and being killed 0 and 4 by Petrova in her final 2 slams, barely lost a tight 3 setter to Henin, and 2003 is Henin's 2nd best year ever! Based on that evidence I cant see Henin not being owned by prime Seles.

why do I have the feeling that most of their matches happened in the 2000-2002 part of 2000-2003. :lol:

Look, even if Henin was close to her prime, she wasn't at her peak. Venus from 2000-2003 WAS at her peak though. It would be fairer if this was old Seles beating Henin from 2006-2007, which was more her actual peak.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dangalak (Post 6938287)
why do I have the feeling that most of their matches happened in the 2000-2002 part of 2000-2003. :lol:

Look, even if Henin was close to her prime, she wasn't at her peak. Venus from 2000-2003 WAS at her peak though. It would be fairer if this was old Seles beating Henin from 2006-2007, which was more her actual peak.

Actually there were 2 matches in 2001, 3 matches in 2002, and 2 matches in 2003. I did not say Henin was at her peak. I said she was undoubtably much closer to her prime than Seles. Are you disputing that Henin in 2001-2003 was closer to her prime than Seles whose prime basically ended in 1993 when she was stabbed (not saying she would be anywhere near her prime by the 2000s decade anyway, I hugely doubt that, but that is completely aside the point). Lets break it down even more closely though, since you want 2003 emphasized yes PEAK Henin in 2003 (2003, 2007, and maybe 2006 are widely regarded her peakiest years) managed to win both her matches with 30 year old Seles with a chronic bad foot, a decade past her prime, and soon to retire, so congrats. In 2001-2002 when neither was in their prime, but Henin much closer than Seles (again do you dispute that fact, a simple yes or no would suffice) Seles won 4 of 5 matches, the only match Henin managing to win on grass where Seles and Henin were both mediocre, but Seles a bit moreso. Based on that how could one ever think Henin would do much damage to Seles at her 1990-1993 peak.

Gizo 10-05-2012 08:04 PM

I think that currently Serena's is the 6th greatest female tennis player of all time. Goolagong, Henin and Venus are all just outside the top 10.

NadalAgassi 10-05-2012 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gizo (Post 6938389)
I think that currently Serena's is the 6th greatest female tennis player of all time. Goolagong, Henin and Venus are all just outside the top 10.

Which 5 do you place above her. I place Goolagong nowhere near Henin and Venus. 4 of her 7 majors are Australian Opens with severely depleted fields. Henin won 4 Frenchs in arguably a really weak clay era, but it was still a legit slam, the best available players, barring injury, always played. There is a difference between a weak field and the field not even being there, and an event not even being treated like a Slam event back then for women especialy. She won 0 non Australians from 1972-1979. Court I give more benefit of doubt since she likely would have won all but maybe 2 of those Australians, she was that dominant at the event, Goolagong would not have.

BTURNER 10-06-2012 05:21 AM

Putting aside the tennis greats prior to 1960, and doubles here's where I am.

Graf
Court
Navratilova
Evert
Serena
King
Henin
Seles
HIngis or Venus

IMO. for Serena to get to higher, she needs some more impressive clay success. Beyond her victory over that great clay courter, Venus, She's a perennial quarterfinalist at RG and only one other semi. She desperately needs reach the finals after beating substantial opponents in a QF and Semi in a two week major, as opposed to being a one week wonder in Rome or Berlin or disappearing after 40 errors in a QF at RG. None of the women above her were that weak on a surface that a major was played on. I don't think its going to happen, and another Wimbledon or two isn't going to impress me that her serve and two other strokes didn't do most of the work. She has to show she can discipline her nature/temperament, to grind in rallies over a long haul, match after match, over great opponents and lesser ones and slide her way to the very end. A GOAT contender either has to master her weaknesses or make them irrelevant, in the quest for her toughest personal tennis challenges, not duplicate her easiest, the most often. Its about conquering your demons over and over in the hardest circumstances until you barely have them, not someone elses.


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