Bueno, Goolagong or Venus, who rates highest?

Which of these 3 ranks highest all time


  • Total voters
    27

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
I thought this would make for an interesting poll. We had one going about Bueno and Goolagong awhile back, but I thought since Venus in many eyes is pretty much done winning slams (and if she gets another, likely Wimbledon, she still could be argued as closely together with these 2 ladies), so I figured I'd make a new one and throw her in the mix. Which of these 3 do you think ranks highest all time?

Note: I did not include Henin because given her announced return most people think she is going to add to her numbers and put herself above these women anyway.
 
1. Bueno
2. Venus
3. Goolagong

Goolagong was a great player and I love watching old tapes of her playing. So elegant and smooth. However it is unfair that people want to diminish Court's slam total by the Australian Open status back then, yet nobody talks about that with Goolagong whose slam count of 7 is also boosted by 4 Australian Opens. She did beat Evert in the 74 final, impressively feeding her a bagel to end it, and crushed a pre-prime Navratilova in the 75 final, but those were the only 2 top players that even attended those years other than Evonne herself. She did not win a single Wimbledon or U.S Open title between 1971 and 1980, and in fact never won the U.S Open title. Her only year as arguably the true #1 was 1971. She was overall quite dominated by Evert, King, and Court, even if she was still competitive with all and beat them in some big matches.

Venus was the best player in the World in 2000 and 2001, and would have been the best in 2002 without Serena going into another orbit (Henin would have probably overtaken her in 2003 without Serena even without Venus's injury). Her record lacks balance and is quite grass heavy. Then again Goolagong was fortunate 3 of the 4 majors were played on her best surface of grass during most of her prime too. Goolagong is still more versatile than Venus, but Venus's dominance at Wimbledon and overall dominance of the tour outside of clay and 02 Serena from 2000-2002 give her the edge IMO.

Bueno was the best of the 3 I feel. She was the defacto best player in the World in 1960 and again in 1964. In late 63-64 she overtook the great Court to temporarily regain that position by beating her in 2 slam finals and winning 3 of the 4 Wimbledon and U.S Open titles. She won 7 slams all at Wimbledon or the U.S Open, the two biggest slams. She barely attended the Australian or French Opens, or likely would have won more, just like Goolagong likely would have won less had the 4 slams been equal value back then. She was just super unlucky with all her injuries or she could have been an even bigger force and won evern more. She was more competitive with Court and King overall than Goolagong was as well. I never understand someone rating Goolagong above Bueno especialy. I think that is based more on popularity than anything.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Another very interesting question. The thing that bothers me about Bueno is I remember that Billie Jean King mentioned how slow Bueno was and that's clearly something we can't say about Goolagong or Venus Williams.

Perhaps my memory is incorrect but I recall that the comment seemed to indicate that King just didn't have a high opinion of Bueno.

Venus and Goolagong seem to have similar weaknesses, poor second serve and a forehand that can be a bit off when force. Excellent first serve and both can run like the wind. Both are excellent volleyers but I think Goolagong's movement was a bit smoother than Venus but I think Goolagong was smoother than just about anyone.

Goolagong won about 68 tournaments, two Wimbledons, a French, four Aussies and was in a ton of US Open finals, losing to King and Evert. According to the WTA site she won the Virginia Slims in 1974 which was essential a major.

Venus, according to the WTA site has won 41 tournaments with five Wimbledons and two US Opens. She also won the 2008 WTA tour championships which is basically the same as the Virginia Slims Championship that Goolagong won.

One advantage I think Goolagong has over Venus is that I think she was a better clay court player like Grafselesfan wrote above.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
I grant that grass was Bueno's best, but like Navratilova she was by nature a S/V's raised on clay so Bueno was a better clay courter than credited. Several of these are on clay, including the 58, 61, 65 titles from Rome. and lets not forget her grand slam in Doubles:
Singles Winner:

Grand Slams: Wimbledon – 59, 60 & 64; USA – 59, 63, 64 & 66

Others: AUSTRALIA, Adelaide – 60; AUSTRIA, Vienna – 61; BELGIUM, Antwerp – 60, 67; BRAZIL, Nationals – Senior – 54; Under 14s – 54, Under 21s – 55; Under 18s – 56, 57; South American Champion – 64; Sâo Paulo Under 14s – 53; COLOMBIA, Barranquilla -60, 61; GERMANY, Wiesbaden – 58; Dusseldorf – 58; Baden Baden – 62, 64; GREAT BRITAIN, Manchester – 67; Bristol – 58, 59; Birmingham – 59, 60; Eastbourne – 68; Beckenham – 64; Newport, Wales – 64, 66; IRELAND, Dublin – 64, 65; ITALY, Rome – 58, 61, 65; Florence – 65; Turin – 61; JAPAN, Tokyo – 74; NETHERLANDS, Hilversum – 62; PUERTO RICO, San Juan – 61; SOUTH AFRICA, East London – 64; Cape Town – 63, 64; Johannesburg – 63; Pretoria – 64; SWEDEN, Båstad – 62; SWITZERLAND, Gstaad – 60; Montana – 65; USA, Orange Bowl – 57; Tampa – 58; St Petersburg – 58; Fort Lauderdale – 57, 58; Orlando – 58; Hollywood – 58; Miami – 58; Jacksonville – 58; Houston – 58; Los Angeles – 64, 66; San Francisco – 66; Essex – 66, 68; Pipping Rock – 63; VENEZUELA, Caracas – 60, 61, 62, 63.

DOUBLES WINNER:

GRAND SLAMS: The Grand Slam of Doubles in 60 – Australia with Christine Truman (GBR), French, Wimbledon and USA with Darlene Hard (USA); WIMBLEDON – 58, 60, 63, 65, 66; USA – 60, 62, 63, 66, 68; FRENCH – 60.

that tips the scales toward her, in my view. and yes Billie Jean was not very gracious about her two main rivals Court and Bueno. She always wrapped a compliment in criticism or minimized . Their greatness was either because of physique " ('the Arm' ) or lacking substance more show than real ( Bueno)
 
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If they played eachother ten times in their primes:
Venus would have 18 wins, Goolagong and Bueno would have about 6 each.

On aesthetics:
Goolagong, Bueno .... then Venus a distant 3rd.

On results: three-way tie. Nod to Venus for having to play against Henin and her sister.

On degree of difficulty (in their respective eras):
Venus, the Evonne, then Maria.

On looks:
Evonne on top (awww yeeeahh), then a tie for second.

On general dubs skills:
Bueno, Evonne, then Venus.

Dubs results in the 1up 1back style:
Venus, then the other two.

Well dressed: Bueno, then the other two.

Who I'd rather have as an aunt: Evonne.

How do you solve a problem like: Maria.

I once knew a girl named: Maria.

Tour Australia with: Goolagong.

Play baseline points with: Venus.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
When we had the poll about just Goolagong and Bueno, I had a tough choice between those 2 because I could see positives for both of them. Adding Venus makes it a little more intriguing because she certainly is a different type of player than either of those 2 ladies. But in my head I come back to Bueno vs Goolagong with Venus being 3rd. Venus to be sure was at her best a great player, especially on faster surfaces where she could shine. But now her numbers have all more or less come together and are to Wimbledon centric for her to be the best of the 3 in my opinion. She was a good player in her prime but even then she struggled to find consistency across the surfaces and factor in the fact that outside of her own sister, she had little comparable competition to the likes that Bueno and Goolagong had, it puts her third.

Goolagong won 3 of the 4 majors, but her numbers as have been pointed out are inflated by the Australian which was the weakest of the 4 majors during her career. One could say her one french open was a little lucky as she was never a player who you would have expected to really excede on clay, as impressive as that win was for her. She was pretty much dominated by her main rivals, but she also played in a deep field (Court, Evert, Wade, King, young Nav..just to name a few), and arguably Evert denied her at least one US Open title and a career grand slam. Bueno similarly had a deep field and 2 amazing rivals in Court and King, as well as a career deterred and arguably shortened by injuries. Her slams were won at what arguably are the 2 most prestigious historically. Make all the slams equal and Bueno probably wins more, take out even a couple of her contemporaries and Goolagong probably does the same. I voted for Goolagong the last time because of the variety of her slams, much the same reason I voted for Henin over Venus when we had the poll about those 2. But looking back then that argument really doesn't have the same weight as it does today, when all the slams are pretty much equal. So I guess this time around my vote would go to Bueno, although it is still close because I feel Goolagong underacheived given her talent.
 

flying24

Banned
If all the slams were of equal value then Goolagong probably wins 4 or 5 slams, while Bueno probably wins between 10 to 12. That is even with all Bueno's injuries which wrecked her career. It is no contest between those two really. As grafseles pointed out Goolagong's slam count is inflated by the Aussie Open status back then, and Bueno's deflated by that she like many missed out on winning Australian and possibly even a French or two by hardly ever playing them as was customary back (especialy the Australian).

Goolagong did face more depth in a way though. However King, Court, and Evert were not really in their primes together other than maybe King and Evert for a couple years. Navratilova was not close to her prime when Goolagong was her biggest force, and from 78-80 Goolagong and Navratilova were both a bit out of their primes at once. Wade was not that great a player and was owned by Goolagong, King, Court, Evert, and Navrtilova. Bueno faced Court, King, Ann Jones, Turner, Richey, during her prime as well. Jones is much better than Wade really.

I would rate Venus over Goolagong but behind Bueno.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Prime is an illusory concept because it is like the tides, which while gradually ebbing in or out, do not mean you dare ever turn your back. Any great player will have that talent, inspiration and pride rejuvenate and electrify both before and after their 'prime' way too often to cubby hole. . In any era with all time greats like King, Court, Evert and Navratilova in the draws either young or old can never be thought of as weak. If Margaret is feeling flat and old during part of the 75" season, you can be sure Navratilova is seeing her gifts come together for glimpses of the future. If a 74 Evert seems flustered and vulnerable during the grass season, just wait for King to give us remedial lessons as though five years just left her knees. It was a time full of landmines. Prime is not about specific years in a career as great as these women. It just won't be boxed and labeled
 

Ripper014

Hall of Fame
I think people need to re-evaluate Goolagong... I noticed when you compare her record and question her ability to win... you are comparing her to GOATs... Court, King, Evert, Navratilova... etc...

Henin... Serena... are great... but have not proven to be GOATs yet in my opinion...

Goolagong as a gazelle on the court... wish I had the opportunity to see more of her... I did not fully appreciate her talent at the time.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I think people need to re-evaluate Goolagong... I noticed when you compare her record and question her ability to win... you are comparing her to GOATs... Court, King, Evert, Navratilova... etc...

Henin... Serena... are great... but have not proven to be GOATs yet in my opinion...

Goolagong as a gazelle on the court... wish I had the opportunity to see more of her... I did not fully appreciate her talent at the time.
She was marvelous. Nothing about her game seemed forced. The angles she could hit were incredible and that backhand was amazing.
 
I think people need to re-evaluate Goolagong... I noticed when you compare her record and question her ability to win... you are comparing her to GOATs... Court, King, Evert, Navratilova... etc...

Henin... Serena... are great... but have not proven to be GOATs yet in my opinion...

Goolagong as a gazelle on the court... wish I had the opportunity to see more of her... I did not fully appreciate her talent at the time.
I would already rate Serena as high or higher than King. King only has 1 more slam, but granted she would have added some in Australia had it been like it is now, but she would have lost her French Open title if the top clay courters had even played. Serena at her peak dominated for almost 2 years though, King only dominated to close to the same extent for 1 year- 1972. King was probably the Worlds best player in 1967-1968 as well, but Serena has still as much time as the Worlds best player as King, considering Serena was really the best player in 2002, 2008, and 2009. Serena already matches or surpasses King's longevity considering King's slam titles were from 1966-1975. King was definitely more consistent though.

Serena clearly would be a better player than King in her prime on either clay or hard courts, I am not even talking peak Serena which I know didnt last long, just regular Serena. King would only be as good or better on grass and indoors.
 
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When we had the poll about just Goolagong and Bueno, I had a tough choice between those 2 because I could see positives for both of them. Adding Venus makes it a little more intriguing because she certainly is a different type of player than either of those 2 ladies. But in my head I come back to Bueno vs Goolagong with Venus being 3rd. Venus to be sure was at her best a great player, especially on faster surfaces where she could shine. But now her numbers have all more or less come together and are to Wimbledon centric for her to be the best of the 3 in my opinion. She was a good player in her prime but even then she struggled to find consistency across the surfaces and factor in the fact that outside of her own sister, she had little comparable competition to the likes that Bueno and Goolagong had, it puts her third.

Goolagong won 3 of the 4 majors, but her numbers as have been pointed out are inflated by the Australian which was the weakest of the 4 majors during her career. One could say her one french open was a little lucky as she was never a player who you would have expected to really excede on clay, as impressive as that win was for her. She was pretty much dominated by her main rivals, but she also played in a deep field (Court, Evert, Wade, King, young Nav..just to name a few), and arguably Evert denied her at least one US Open title and a career grand slam. Bueno similarly had a deep field and 2 amazing rivals in Court and King, as well as a career deterred and arguably shortened by injuries. Her slams were won at what arguably are the 2 most prestigious historically. Make all the slams equal and Bueno probably wins more, take out even a couple of her contemporaries and Goolagong probably does the same. I voted for Goolagong the last time because of the variety of her slams, much the same reason I voted for Henin over Venus when we had the poll about those 2. But looking back then that argument really doesn't have the same weight as it does today, when all the slams are pretty much equal. So I guess this time around my vote would go to Bueno, although it is still close because I feel Goolagong underacheived given her talent.
I think another factor to consider is which of these spent the most time as the best player in the World.

Bueno was I think considered the best player in the World in 1959 and 1960. She reclaimed her status as the best player in the World in 1964 after beating Court in both the 1963 U.S Open final and 1964 Wimbledon final, and then winning the 1964 U.S Open. Then in 1966 where she lost to King in 3 sets in the Wimbledon final and won the U.S Open title (where King bombed out early) she again could be argued as being the best player in the World for the last time.

Goolagong was probably the best player in the World in 1971 when she won the French Open then straight setted both King and Court to win Wimbledon. However that is the only time she was really. There are other times she was close to regaining that status but could not perform well enough in the big matches.

Venus was really considered the best player in the World in both 2000 when she won Wimbledon, the U.S Open, and the Olympics, and dominated Davenport and Hingis in big matches; and again in 2001 when she won Wimbledon, U.S Open, and Miami, whereas Capriati the other 2 slam winner of the year was dominated by Venus in head to head play.

So if you look at it from that angle as well Bueno spent the most time as the defacto Worlds best player, Venus next, and Goolagong again last.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
I think another factor to consider is which of these spent the most time as the best player in the World.

Bueno was I think considered the best player in the World in 1959 and 1960. She reclaimed her status as the best player in the World in 1964 after beating Court in both the 1963 U.S Open final and 1964 Wimbledon final, and then winning the 1964 U.S Open. Then in 1966 where she lost to King in 3 sets in the Wimbledon final and won the U.S Open title (where King bombed out early) she again could be argued as being the best player in the World for the last time.

Goolagong was probably the best player in the World in 1971 when she won the French Open then straight setted both King and Court to win Wimbledon. However that is the only time she was really. There are other times she was close to regaining that status but could not perform well enough in the big matches.

Venus was really considered the best player in the World in both 2000 when she won Wimbledon, the U.S Open, and the Olympics, and dominated Davenport and Hingis in big matches; and again in 2001 when she won Wimbledon, U.S Open, and Miami, whereas Capriati the other 2 slam winner of the year was dominated by Venus in head to head play.

So if you look at it from that angle as well Bueno spent the most time as the defacto Worlds best player, Venus next, and Goolagong again last.
A Lot of good points. I think your right that actual dominance time at the top is part of it. I sort of factored that in and tried to balance it with the competition. When Venus was at the top, there was Hingis, Davenport, Capriati, Serena to an extent, And Aged Martinez, and Pierce and that was really it, so I tried to balance out the 2 quantities. Venus at her best, a great player, but low level of competition. When Serena emerged, Venus was pretty much dispatched, not winning any finals in slams against Serena during Serena's peak. That to me sort of hurts Venus, just an opinion though

Bueno at her best at the top, slightly more competition. Arguably she may have benefited from the absense of Conolly in her early career, but she was hurt by injuries, but her 2 rivals were better in comparison to her than Venus's, if that makes sense? Court and King were much better rivals then any of Venus's, so she is ahead of Venus, yes.

Goolagong had Prime dominant Evert, and during a lot of that time she was a clear top 3 player right behind Evert even though she was never really close to usurping Evert she was still pretty consistantly right behind her for a while. Take out Evert, Goolagong wins probably a couple of US Opens and maybe one or 2 others depending on draws. But that is all speculation. I think both ways we have discussed can be used, but its finding that middle ground that is hard.
 

Wuornos

Professional
Personally I would have to go for Venus Williams.

Venus Williams Peak Rating 2770 achieved after the French Open of 2002
Maria Bueno Peak Rating 2755 achieved after the French Open of 1965
Evonne Goolagong Peak Rating 2745 achieved after the US Open of 1975

These ratings are derived as a function of their domination over a limited time period with a diminishing return and the quality of competition faced and is calculated using a multi iterative system.

The methodology used is no more or no less important than anyone elses opinion. It's just that I like statistical rating systems and like to put a number on things.

Take care

Tim
 

davey25

Banned
Goolagong is the least great of those 3 I think. She was a super talented player with beautiful shotmaking, touch for the ball, variety, and movement. However up against the likes of Evert, Court, King, she simply didnt have the agression, consistency, craftiness, or mental toughness needed to come out on top often. She lost 7 straight Wimbledon or U.S Open finals at one point. 4 of her 7 Slam titles came at the Australian Open vs depleted draws though she did beat Evert in the 74 final (and a very pre prime Navratilova in 75). Had she had to face King and Evert imparticular there every year (add in a pre prime Martina, over the hill Court, Wade, and some others) winning 4 titles from 74-77 probably wouldnt have happened. 2 at most probably. She of course never won the U.S Open despite some great efforts.

I believe Bueno is easily the best of those 3. She won all 7 of her majors at the Worlds 2 biggest tournaments- Wimbledon and the U.S Open. She didnt even play the Australian hardly ever or the French regularly, so that mostly explains her failures to win there. At her best she could take down anyone with convicition including Court. She would have won alot more if she didnt have so many health problems plague her career.

Venus I rate below Bueno but above Goolagong. Her legacy at Wimbledon is a huge plus to her career. Her longevity in the game is very impressive. She was considered the dominant player briefly for a couple years. Her versatility across all surfaces is not as good as it could/should be, though I believe she is underrated as both a hard courter and clay courter (though by no means is she a great clay courter) all the ame.
 
Goolagong's slam tally was inflated by the Aussie Open status in the 70s. She won titles against incomplete fields. Her only big win was over Evert in the 74 final and Navratilova in the 75 final. Those were the only other key players even in the draw any of her 4 Australian Open title years. She never had to face King there who owned her.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
From the ground they're all great, for different reasons. Venus was a bigger hitter, and covered the court better, although, I could see Goolagong and Bueno frustrating Venus with their deep and angled slices and overall superior net play. However, Venus' serve stands out to make her the best of the three. Goolagong's 1st serve was adequate and her second serve merely a point starter. Bueno's serve was a little better than Goolagong's but not near Venus' level.
 
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thalivest

Banned
Bueno is much greater than Goolagong. If all 4 slams were valued equally back then Bueno would have won atleast 10 slams probably and Goolagong no more than about 5. Both had tough competition. Bueno was the best player in the World more than once though, she even retook that title from Court in 1964. If Bueno hadnt been injured she could have been even more of a dominant force as when she was playing well and healthy she could handle Court and King. Goolagong was arguably the best in the World in one of her first years on tour then never again really. She never won the U.S Open and won Wimbledon 9 years apart.

Goolagong is overrated by people since she was so beautiful to watch. In reality she was an underachieving headcase who got owned by all the major greats of her era. The best player she had the upper hand on was Virginia Wade.
 
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