Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
Graf was in her worst ever slump from 1990-1993 which I already mentioned when discussing Seles also having not very good competition during her reign, and neither Graf or Seles ever having to face each other at their best (except for a blip in mid 92 perhaps). Graf had all 3 of her losses to Novotna from 91-93, outside of that she was an easy opponent always. Her win over Graf at the 91 Australian Open just indicates Grafs terrible 1991 level, nothing about her really. Novotna was also never a threat to win major titles on any surface besides grass or carpet. She was never a contender at 3 of the 4 slams.
Vicario was great in 1994, taking her game to a whole new level but she never duplicated that form again before or after.
Slump schmump. I don't think a player's slumps can be used as excuses for their lesser play or their opponent's wins over them. Players go out on to the court and play a tennis match. The winner is the better player on the day. I think most professional players would agree that the buck stops there. If a Novotna or a Mauresmo get a win over a Graf or a Serena, it can't be asterisked with an injury or a slump. It is as much to do with Novotna or Mauresmo being able enough to work out thier opponent's weakness that day and to take advantage of it.
Anyway, my point was that Graf had competition who could beat her as much as Serena did. Serena at some point has been beaten by all her rivals just as Steffi had and I think their main rivals have been pretty much equal and Steffi in Monica might have had by far the fiercest rival of the two.
In addition, Serena has not always played her best throughout her career either yet this cannot be put down to just slumps, injuries or personal problems and glossed over. All GOATS have had career highs and lows and it is how they recover from the lows that keeps them in the GOAT running, a quality that both Graf and Serena have displayed time and time again. But that is beside the point. The point is I gave you a list of players who competed with Graf that was as strong, in my opinion, as the list you gave for Serena and you dismissed it on the grounds of Steffi's slump or as a never repeated run of form, which I contest on the grounds that a slump is not an excuse and Sanchez won Majors in 1989 and 1998 and in 1995 and 1996 went back to back finals at RG and Wimby.