Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
I am not saying Wade isnt a great player, or that even losing to 33 year old Wade at Wimbledon is a horrible loss. You are completely missing my point. My point is obviously she is a much lesser player to Evert, and even prime to prime would lose the vast majority of matches, and in fact even did in her own prime when Evert was far from hers. So that being said the very fact it is possible for Wade at 33 to still post numerous wins over prime Evert, including at a major event like Wimbledon, shows that being past your prime and "old" isnt that huge a disadvantage for an all time great still in top health and top ranking form; and even past your prime is not sufficient excuse for Evert to have done so poorly vs Graf for instance as she did, winning only 1 set in 7 matches from the time Steffi got her first win at only 16, having won 0 of her eventual 107 pro titles at that point, and Evert only 31 at that point, onwards (their final matches when Evert was 34). Her record vs Navratilova at Navratilova's peak is even more damning to her being rated as the possible GOAT, or even top 2 or 3 all time, and it might be why some even have Serena over her, as one cant imagine Serena ever doing that poorly vs a fellow all time at any period in time (which they would be right on). I agree if one values only stats Evert has Serena well beat at this point, even with Serenas vastly superior doubles record, but under a more subjective evaluation, it is easy to see how some in this thread could think Serena is a "better" player than Evert, even for their respective times.
Yeah, being 32, 33 and 34 and loosing to a player of the talent of Graf could be sufficient excuse. Like any great player, she had days and matches where the years just slipped away and vintage Evert showed up and played very close to her best, but honestly those were the lucky days. If Evert met Graf 3 times in a year, what are the chances she'd be vintage on either April 23, July 29 and Setember 6? She hung on to #3 in the world because even on her flat days, she still made the rest of the women have to earn a lot of big points and they didn't have the firepower or confidence that Navratilova, Graf and few others did.
The question when dealing with an aging player is did they play well in a specific match, and you just can't tell squat from how well they played the tournament before, or the match before or the tournament after or the match after. If inconsistency from day to day is the major symptom, then the usual criteria for establishing a player's form could not be less informative. Its more about if they woke up with feel for the ball that morning than how they played that week or month. You have to actually judge the match itself.
By the way, of all the players in that top tenish range, Wade must have the depressing record against Evert. Other than Navratilova, Wade played her far more often than anyone at 46 times. Wade winning 6 is pretty dismal. She should have done a lot better, especially indoors and on grass.