Originally Posted by pc1
I don't know if that's true (the words I put in bold) but I like the thought behind it. I think you could be right as far as Evert is concerned. Serena isn't exactly bad on clay however so I wouldn't necessarily rule her out.
I may put Henin there for clay also.
Just a single peak playing match on clay (not an all time rankings list of greatest clay courters) would be a tough call between Graf, Seles, Henin, and Evert, but I think Graf and Seles would both be bad matchups for Evert at their mutual best on clay. Graf is just a horrible matchup for Evert in general IMO, even though Evert never got to play a prime Graf at her best, it was not a good matchup for her. Graf was easily fast enough to counter Evert's great court maneuvering and tactical point construction, could easily overpower Evert with her serve, forehand, and even net game, and could even outlast Evert in long rallies as Evert was forced into far more unforced errors in her matches with Graf than she made vs anyone else (even though losing some of her patience with age was no doubt part of that, and would be less with a younger Evert). I actually think Evert would be a bad matchup for Seles on faster courts, especialy as Evert is like a better version of Hingis, but on slower courts I think a prime Seles would be a nightmare for her. She just doesnt have enough power to get Seles on the defensive without the help of a faster court (the Seles of old who had decent mobility, great anticipation, and great depth consistently, not the one Hingis faced), and if you cant do that vs Seles you cant hurt her in her prime. It is hard to know exactly how a peak Henin vs peak Graf, peak Henin vs peak Seles, or peak Henin vs peak Evert match on clay would go, as she doesnt play exactly like any of those players, and there are really no matches to go by. I already saw enough from when their careers crossed to know without seeing them play prime to prime that Seles was a bad matchup for her on hard courts or carpet, but grass or clay prime to prime would be interesting as pre prime Henin did atleast convincingly beat old Seles on those surfaces when they met.
Actually even though Serena probably isnt even top 20 all time on clay, in a peak on peak match she could definitely be right in there with anyone too, as when she plays at her very best like in Charleston and Madrid this year, and like some matches at Rome and Roland Garros 2002, she can be scary great, even on clay. She just rarely produces her very peak form on clay, even in her peak years, let alone outside of them.