Connolly v Court (or Bueno) in the early 1960s

There don't seem to have been many threads about Maureen Connolly on TTW for a few years, although Margaret Court is still in vogue. So, my question: had Connolly not been injured in the horse-riding accident, how long would it have taken Court or Bueno (or possibly Gibson a few years earlier, though that seems doubtful to me) to rival her? At the time of Court's first Slam title at the Australian Open 1960, Connolly had only just turned 25. Court was just 17.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Wow fascinating hypothetical question I never entertained. I have often claimed that Court was fortunate that Bueno had two serious health issues taking her out of competition. It never occurred to me that both Court and Bueno benefited for that fall from that horse! We might barely have read the name 'Darleen Hard' at all! I have to think on this one!
 
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Not sure, but we should consider the possibility that Connolly would have grown tired of dominating by 1960.
It's certainly possible, but she'd still have been barely eight years into her slam-winning run. Plenty of players had longer spells than that: Evert, Navratilova, and Graf all went 12 years from first Slam to last (same location for first and last Slam for all three), and Court more than 13 and a half years.

It's possible that by 1960, Connolly would have been bored of dominating and the emergence of new challengers such as Court and Bueno would have revitalized her interest and made for a great rivalry or three. We'll never know.

At any rate, we can say with confidence that but for the injury, Connolly would be up there with the women in the high teens or early 20s for slam titles.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Actually it's a fascinating question. Could the serve and volley and physical presence of Court overcome the power strokes of Connolly? My compliments to Helterskelter for the topic.
 
Actually it's a fascinating question. Could the serve and volley and physical presence of Court overcome the power strokes of Connolly? My compliments to Helterskelter for the topic.
That way of thinking about it makes it seem like it could have been a proto-Navratilova/Evert-type rivalry, albeit with a much bigger age gap - almost eight years rather than just over two years. Still, I don't think Connolly would have been clearly too old to compete until she was at least 30, so in late 1964/early 1965, and possibly later. On the other hand, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as early as 1966, when she was just 31 or 32, so it's possible that her physical health would have prevented her from competing at a high level fairly early anyway.
 

BTURNER

Legend
It's certainly possible, but she'd still have been barely eight years into her slam-winning run. Plenty of players had longer spells than that: Evert, Navratilova, and Graf all went 12 years from first Slam to last (same location for first and last Slam for all three), and Court more than 13 and a half years.

It's possible that by 1960, Connolly would have been bored of dominating and the emergence of new challengers such as Court and Bueno would have revitalized her interest and made for a great rivalry or three. We'll never know.

At any rate, we can say with confidence that but for the injury, Connolly would be up there with the women in the high teens or early 20s for slam titles.
Actually, I think a Bueno-Connolly is a more compelling match-up, a bit of a prequel to the Goolagong -Evert match-up. More than one Evert fan I know prefers some of those when Evonne played well, to the more famous Evert Navratilova matches. Bueno was more of a creative artist than the rock solid, athletic high percentage style of Court's
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Actually, I think a Bueno-Connolly is a more compelling match-up, a bit of a prequel to the Goolagong -Evert match-up. More than one Evert fan I know prefers some of those when Evonne played well, to the more famous Evert Navratilova matches. Bueno was more of a creative artist than the rock solid, athletic high percentage style of Court's
True about Bueno VS Court. Connolly would have had a much tougher time against Court than Bueno, who was more of a serve and volleyer and less consistent. Probably two of the greatest tragedies of women's tennis was Connolly's early death and the Seles stabbing which altered the history of the women's game.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Actually it's a fascinating question. Could the serve and volley and physical presence of Court overcome the power strokes of Connolly? My compliments to Helterskelter for the topic.
What made Court great was that she could serve and volley as well as play a very solid ground game. In reality, Court was the only player capable of defeating Evert in the 73 FO final. True Evert was young but Court was a 31 year old mother and beginning her decline. In 74 she gave birth again, and won very little after that comeback.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
What made Court great was that she could serve and volley as well as play a very solid ground game. In reality, Court was the only player capable of defeating Evert in the 73 FO final. True Evert was young but Court was a 31 year old mother and beginning her decline. In 74 she gave birth again, and won very little after that comeback.
You have to be solid everywhere to have a 92% LIFETIME winning percentage. Many all time greats never do that in one year!

She won the Grand Slam in 1970 and 24 majors.

To me it's such a shame she is not spoken about as one of the all time greats I think primarily because of her views. In many sports there have been players who haven't been angels but are still spoken of as all time greats, even GOATs.
 

urban

Legend
There was an insider here on this forum some years ago, who saw Connolly beating Gibson with ease. Connolly faced some really good serve and volleyers like Brough or Hart, and won with her hard hitting style. I see her as a hard hitting Chris Evert. So i would give her good chances vs. Smith, Gibson, Bueno and even young BJK. Another matchup i would love to see, would be Connolly vs. Pauline Betz in the early 50s. Betz turned pro early in her career, but some say, she was the best of the post 1945 generation of US stars, until Maureen came up. I think, it was Tinling, a very close observer of the womens game, who stated, that a great female baseline player at the end would beat the great female serve and volleyer, because a woman coouldn't cover the whole court like a male player. I that department it would be a great matchup, if Helen Wills had stayed a bit longer and had met the Alice Marble of 1939.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
There was an insider here on this forum some years ago, who saw Connolly beating Gibson with ease. Connolly faced some really good serve and volleyers like Brough or Hart, and won with her hard hitting style. I see her as a hard hitting Chris Evert. So i would give her good chances vs. Smith, Gibson, Bueno and even young BJK. Another matchup i would love to see, would be Connolly vs. Pauline Betz in the early 50s. Betz turned pro early in her career, but some say, she was the best of the post 1945 generation of US stars, until Maureen came up. I think, it was Tinling, a very close observer of the womens game, who stated, that a great female baseline player at the end would beat the great female serve and volleyer, because a woman coouldn't cover the whole court like a male player. I that department it would be a great matchup, if Helen Wills had stayed a bit longer and had met the Alice Marble of 1939.
Jack Kramer said the same as Tinling. I never could understand that statement because I always think it's relative. A great female player may not cover the court like a male player but the male player also has more power and spin so that makes up for it.

Nevertheless a great serve and volleyer versus a great returner is always interesting. Gonzalez versus Rosewall. Newcombe versus Connors or Rosewall. Navratilova versus Evert, Becker versus Agassi. Sampras versus Agassi. Some of my favorite matches are the Rafter versus Agassi matches at Wimbledon.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
You have to be solid everywhere to have a 92% LIFETIME winning percentage. Many all time greats never do that in one year!

She won the Grand Slam in 1970 and 24 majors.

To me it's such a shame she is not spoken about as one of the all time greats I think primarily because of her views. In many sports there have been players who haven't been angels but are still spoken of as all time greats, even GOATs.
Tilden? Gonzalez was no Boy Scout either.
 
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Actually, I think a Bueno-Connolly is a more compelling match-up, a bit of a prequel to the Goolagong -Evert match-up. More than one Evert fan I know prefers some of those when Evonne played well, to the more famous Evert Navratilova matches. Bueno was more of a creative artist than the rock solid, athletic high percentage style of Court's
Good point. And, yes, the "flair" player's matchups are always going to be the more interesting ones when they are on form than the ones involving two rock solid, high percentages ones, even if the match involves two such players with contrasting styles. I only started following tennis in 1987, but from what I can tell, some of the Mandlikova/Navratilova matches in the mid-80s were at least as entertaining as the Evert/Navratilova ones.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Good point. And, yes, the "flair" player's matchups are always going to be the more interesting ones when they are on form than the ones involving two rock solid, high percentages ones, even if the match involves two such players with contrasting styles. I only started following tennis in 1987, but from what I can tell, some of the Mandlikova/Navratilova matches in the mid-80s were at least as entertaining as the Evert/Navratilova ones.
Yes I do believe some of the the Mandlikova/Navratilova were as entertaining or even more so than the Evert/Navratilova ones, However I think that’s because Hana was such a brilliant shotmaker when she was on that made it so interesting. She also was erratic which allowed it to be more fascinating.

Actually my favorite s/v rivalry among the women was Goolagong against Evert. Evonne was ridiculously imaginative.
 

BTURNER

Legend
Yes I do believe some of the the Mandlikova/Navratilova were as entertaining or even more so than the Evert/Navratilova ones, However I think that’s because Hana was such a brilliant shotmaker when she was on that made it so interesting. She also was erratic which allowed it to be more fascinating.

Actually my favorite s/v rivalry among the women was Goolagong against Evert. Evonne was ridiculously imaginative.
When the shots went in, they were ridiculously imaginative. When they went out, they were just ridiculous, so like Mandlikova!
 
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BTURNER

Legend
Good point. And, yes, the "flair" player's matchups are always going to be the more interesting ones when they are on form than the ones involving two rock solid, high percentages ones, even if the match involves two such players with contrasting styles. I only started following tennis in 1987, but from what I can tell, some of the Mandlikova/Navratilova matches in the mid-80s were at least as entertaining as the Evert/Navratilova ones.
When Mandlikova was on, she is the only player I ever saw that could make Martina look like a passenger on the ride, instead of the driver. Martina definitely did not like that feeling. Evert handled these patches of Hana brilliance a lot more stoically. Evert truly believed that the Percentage Gods would eventually punish Hana for her hubris. Well, sometimes they could not stop Hana either!

I do digress. This thread is about Connolly and Court. My gut says that Connolly would have lapped up the power of Court much like Evert did. Remember would have been an inexperienced Court, so she may not have had full control of her touch shots or much variety in her patterns. I really think Bueno might have been a more complicated opponent for Connolly.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
When Mandlikova was on, she is the only player I ever saw that could make Martina look like a passenger on the ride, instead of the driver. Martina definitely did not like that feeling. Evert handled these patches of Hana brilliance a lot more stoically. Evert truly believed that the Percentage Gods would eventually punish Hana for her hubris. Well, sometimes they could not stop Hana either!
In those days when Navratilova seemed invincible, they said that if Martina played her best she would win. The exception however, was Mandlikova. Hana was the one who dictated play in their matches if she was playing well.
 

BTURNER

Legend
In those days when Navratilova seemed invincible, they said that if Martina played her best she would win. The exception however, was Mandlikova. Hana was the one who dictated play in their matches if she was playing well.
Sometimes it was just a point here or there that determined momentum. It was Navratilova's athleticism that sometimes saved her hide. She could actually run down and reach some of those absurdly glorious shots of Hana's and could muscle back something when nobody else could do so. And at net, that left arm completely outstretched, with that left wrist even bent slightly backwards, could still do some incredible things....
 
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Connolly was born in 1934.
Court was born in 1942.
Yes. Hence, as noted in my post #6 on this thread, the age gap was almost eight years. But given that Court first won a major at 17, Connolly was only 25 at the time and so they could have had a rivalry for at least a few years.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Yes. Hence, as noted in my post #6 on this thread, the age gap was almost eight years. But given that Court first won a major at 17, Connolly was only 25 at the time and so they could have had a rivalry for at least a few years.
That's would have been so fascinating if they played at top level. In 1962 Court won three of four majors which incidentally is something she did four times in her great career! So in 1962 Connolly would have been 28 against Court at age 20. That year may have been interesting.

Connolly was about 5'5" tall and Court, depending on your source was at least 4 inches taller. I have no doubt Court was faster than Connolly with a much bigger serve. Connolly I understand used to practice only with men, among them Pancho Gonzalez I believe so clearly Connolly faced serves even greater than Court's. I also have no doubt Connolly hit her groundstrokes harder than Court but would that be enough?
 
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thrust

Hall of Fame
That's would have been so fascinating if they played at top level. In 1962 Court won three of four majors which incidentally is something she did four times in her great career! So in 1962 Connolly would have been 28 against Court at age 20. That year may have been interesting.

Connolly was about 5'5" tall and Court, depending on your source was at least 4 inches taller. I have no doubt Court was faster than Connolly with a much bigger serve. Connolly I understand used to practice only with men, among them Pancho Gonzalez I believe so clearly Connolly faced serves even greater than Court's. I also have no doubt Connolly hit her groundstrokes harder than Court but would that be enough?
I seriously doubt that Connolly hit groundstrokes harder than Court. I do think that Brough, du Pont and Hart's ground strokes were not as hard as Connolly's, as they were mostly serve and volley players. Court, as I said before, could play both game styles very well. I did read somewhere, that when Hart beat Connolly at the Italian, she played mostly from the baseline and outlasted Connolly. Thing is, we will never know.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I seriously doubt that Connolly hit groundstrokes harder than Court. I do think that Brough, du Pont and Hart's ground strokes were not as hard as Connolly's, as they were mostly serve and volley players. Court, as I said before, could play both game styles very well. I did read somewhere, that when Hart beat Connolly at the Italian, she played mostly from the baseline and outlasted Connolly. Thing is, we will never know.
Possibly. I know Court could hit the ball extremely hard, especially on her forehand side. Push comes to shove I would think Connolly drove the ball with more power on average from the baseline.
 
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hoodjem

G.O.A.T.
Connolly was born in 1934.
Court was born in 1942.
Connolly won the Grand Slam in 1953 by age 19. She didn't just beat her opponents, she demolished them.

By 1960 she would have been 25. How many Grand Slams would she have won by then? More? (Who can say.)

If she had not gotten injured, stayed healthy, and remained an amateur and interested, she might have won everything for the next two or three years. (It is believed that she intended to turn pro in September 1954.)

If all of those are true, then she might have gotten bored and tired of tennis--with no more tennis challenges or "worlds to conquer"--by 1959. She might have taken up golf (like Vines), or formed an underwear company (a la Borg).

Human physiology is so hard to extrapolate or predict. And human psychology (including interest and motivation) is even more difficult.

(Remember Vines retired at 28, Borg retired at 25.)
Heck, maybe by 1960 when Court came on the scene, Mo would not even be playing tennis any longer. (But it is fun to consider two great players competing.)
 
Connolly won the Grand Slam in 1953 by age 19. She didn't just beat her opponents, she demolished them.
This is true - from what I can see, she only dropped one set in the final six slams she played (to Susan Chatrier, in the quarter-final of the 1953 French).

:eek:
 
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It's true that Connolly might have got bored, or suffered from other injuries, or that her physical ailments were likely to catch up at some point anyway. We all agree on that. But it's important not to confuse possibility with probability. The more likely eventuality in her case - as in that of Seles - is that she still was going to improve a fair bit further for the next couple of years. By 1960-62, it's certainly far more of an open question.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Actually, I think a Bueno-Connolly is a more compelling match-up, a bit of a prequel to the Goolagong -Evert match-up. More than one Evert fan I know prefers some of those when Evonne played well, to the more famous Evert Navratilova matches. Bueno was more of a creative artist than the rock solid, athletic high percentage style of Court's
Personally I much prefer watching dvds of Evert/Goolagong-Cawley- it's much more creative. And as Evert herself said, she never knew what to expect from her which kept her on her toes.
Bueno, to my mind was similar. The difference being that she had the steel trap mind of a champion.

I was with Maria and Heather Segal (charming woman and sadly missed) when Heather said to Maria, "do you remember when I beat you in a tournament at (I can't remember where)...
Maria replied "no. Really.....REALLY??"

:)
 

Xavier G

Professional
Maureen Connolly , "Little Mo", was a teenage tennis phenomenon. She demolished her world-class opposition in winning the Grand Slam and without the horseriding accident which cut her career short at just 19, she may have gone as the greatest female tennis player ever. As it is, she's an enduring legend of the sport.

R.I.P.
 

Xavier G

Professional
Maureen Connolly , "Little Mo", was a teenage tennis phenomenon. She demolished her world-class opposition in winning the Grand Slam and without the horseriding accident which cut her career short at just 19, she may have gone as the greatest female tennis player ever. As it is, she's an enduring legend of the sport.

R.I.P.
 

Xavier G

Professional
Maureen Connolly , "Little Mo", was a teenage tennis phenomenon.
Miss Connolly demolished her world-class opposition over her tennis career and especially in winning the Grand Slam in 1953.
Wiithout the horseriding accident which cut her career short at just 19 years of age, she may have gone as the greatest female tennis player ever. As it is, she's an enduring legend of the sport.

R.I.P. Little Mo.
 
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Xavier G

Professional
Maureen Connolly , "Little Mo", was a teenage tennis phenomenon. My mother used to mention her from time to time when tennis was on the tv.
Miss Connolly demolished her world-class opposition in her career, especially in winning the Grand Slam in 1953.
Without the horseriding accident which cut her career short at just 19, she may have gone as the greatest female tennis player ever. As it is, she's an enduring legend of the sport.

Too short a life.

R.I.P.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
Personally I much prefer watching dvds of Evert/Goolagong-Cawley- it's much more creative. And as Evert herself said, she never knew what to expect from her which kept her on her toes.
Bueno, to my mind was similar. The difference being that she had the steel trap mind of a champion.

I was with Maria and Heather Segal (charming woman and sadly missed) when Heather said to Maria, "do you remember when I beat you in a tournament at (I can't remember where)...
Maria replied "no. Really.....REALLY??"

what to expect from her which kept her on her toes.
Bueno, to my mind was similar. The difference being that she had the steel trap mind of a champion.

I was with Maria and Heather Segal (charming woman and sadly missed) when Heather said to Maria, "do you remember when I beat you in a tournament at (I can't remember where)...
Maria replied "no. Really.....REALLY??"

:)
It really depends on which Evonne shows up and how long she tends to her knitting. We know what Evert and Connolly and Court are likely to do. They are each as solid as rocks, day in, day out. That is how they come up with those astonishing career win/ loss numbers. If Goolagong is not 'into' the match, there won't be a match very long! I think I'd rather watch Court than see one of those indifferent performances of Goolagongs, but I'd rather watch Goolagong when she is focused and competitive. People knew what Court would do. She was a train barreling down the track and she was plenty predictable, but not a lot of people could stop her because she executed so well.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
It really depends on which Evonne shows up and how long she tends to her knitting. We know what Evert and Connolly and Court are likely to do. They are each as solid as rocks, day in, day out. That is how they come up with those astonishing career win/ loss numbers. If Goolagong is not 'into' the match, there won't be a match very long! I think I'd rather watch Court than see one of those indifferent performances of Goolagongs, but I'd rather watch Goolagong when she is focused and competitive. People knew what Court would do. She was a train barreling down the track and she was plenty predictable, but not a lot of people could stop her because she executed so well.
This is actually something that hasn't been discussed too much ie, a player who does the basics well but is not necessarily a great shotmaking versus a great shotmaking who doesn't do the basics as well.

Personally I loved watching Goolagong as much as any player I've seen. She moved so well. She just flowed and her imagination was ridiculous. It seemed so easy that you got the impression she could turn it on and crush anybody.

I was most amused when Evonne beat Ilie Nastase in a handicap Challenge match. I guess even Nastase wasn't immune to Evonne's brilliant play!
https://www.nytimes.com/1975/10/26/archives/goolagong-conquers-nastase.html
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
It's certainly possible, but she'd still have been barely eight years into her slam-winning run. Plenty of players had longer spells than that: Evert, Navratilova, and Graf all went 12 years from first Slam to last (same location for first and last Slam for all three), and Court more than 13 and a half years.

It's possible that by 1960, Connolly would have been bored of dominating and the emergence of new challengers such as Court and Bueno would have revitalized her interest and made for a great rivalry or three. We'll never know.

At any rate, we can say with confidence that but for the injury, Connolly would be up there with the women in the high teens or early 20s for slam titles.
I'm slightly confused: Evert won at least 1 major for 13 years running.
 
I'm slightly confused: Evert won at least 1 major for 13 years running.
But a stretch of 13 straight years means a gap of 12 between first and last, given how we count (it would be different in some systems). In Evert's case, her 13 straight years were 1974 through 1986. Roland Garros 1974 and Roland Garros 1986 are twelve years apart. (If it's easier, think about the first one as being in year 1 and the second as being in year 13. Year 13 is twelve years after year one, not thirteen years after it).
 
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thrust

Hall of Fame
It really depends on which Evonne shows up and how long she tends to her knitting. We know what Evert and Connolly and Court are likely to do. They are each as solid as rocks, day in, day out. That is how they come up with those astonishing career win/ loss numbers. If Goolagong is not 'into' the match, there won't be a match very long! I think I'd rather watch Court than see one of those indifferent performances of Goolagongs, but I'd rather watch Goolagong when she is focused and competitive. People knew what Court would do. She was a train barreling down the track and she was plenty predictable, but not a lot of people could stop her because she executed so well.
I was at the 73 USO final between Court and Goolagong, which was a perfect demonstration of their careers. The first set was very close at 7-6, with Court being very steady in all aspects of her game. In the second set, Evonne was nearly spectacular and won the set 7-5, to the loud cheers of the crowd. Watching Court's reaction to the crowd I got the impression she was thinking, that's it Evonne time for me to settle down and win this final set, which she did at 6-2.
 

BTURNER

Legend
In 1961 at Paris she came down with hepatitis and was completely laid up for 8 months and basically lost an entire year and did not compete in the next 6 majors. She finally regained her championship form back in the 1963 in US championships and regained the number 1 spot back in 1964 ( she first reach number 1 in 1959 and repeated in 1960)

In 1965 she began to have knee trouble which steadily worsened until she had surgery in December of 65 and it put her out of commission for another 4 months so another half year was toast.

After the end of 1965, her arm and shoulder began to cause problems. By 1969, she , was completely unable to compete at all. From 1969-1975 she played no tennis at all. After three years of surgeries to rebuild her arm and shoulder she made a final effort to comeback which was more sad than inspiring. she did not reach a single quarterfinal in the last two years. We will never know how much she could have done in those prime playing years, or how much Court and then King benefited from her poor luck, but undoubtedly she would have grabbed more majors in 1961-1964 and more again from 1966 -1968 but for that arm/ shoulder injury. She played most of the majors, but she could not serve well or hit her forehand with the same power.
 
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KG1965

Legend
In 1961 at Paris she came down with hepatitis and was completely laid up for 8 months and basically lost an entire year and did not compete in the next 6 majors. She finally regained her championship form back in the 1963 in US championships and regained the number 1 spot back in 1964 ( she first reach number 1 in 1959 and repeated in 1960)

In 1965 she began to have knee trouble which steadily worsened until she had surgery in December of 65 and it put her out of commission for another 4 months so another half year was toast.

After the end of 1965, her arm and shoulder began to cause problems. By 1969, she , was completely unable to compete at all. From 1969-1975 she played no tennis at all. After three years of surgeries to rebuild her arm and should she made a final effort to comeback which was more sad than inspiring. she did not reach a single quarterfinal in the last two years. We will never know how much she could have done in those prime playing years, or how much Court and then King benefited from her poor luck, but undoubtedly she would have grabbed more majors in 1961-1964 and more again from 1966 -1968 but for that arm/ shoulder injury. She played most of the majors, but she could not serve well or hit her forehand with the same power.
Bueno.
Bueno, one of the best female players, deserves a thread.
 
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PDJ

G.O.A.T.
In 1961 at Paris she came down with hepatitis and was completely laid up for 8 months and basically lost an entire year and did not compete in the next 6 majors. She finally regained her championship form back in the 1963 in US championships and regained the number 1 spot back in 1964 ( she first reach number 1 in 1959 and repeated in 1960)

In 1965 she began to have knee trouble which steadily worsened until she had surgery in December of 65 and it put her out of commission for another 4 months so another half year was toast.

After the end of 1965, her arm and shoulder began to cause problems. By 1969, she , was completely unable to compete at all. From 1969-1975 she played no tennis at all. After three years of surgeries to rebuild her arm and shoulder she made a final effort to comeback which was more sad than inspiring. she did not reach a single quarterfinal in the last two years. We will never know how much she could have done in those prime playing years, or how much Court and then King benefited from her poor luck, but undoubtedly she would have grabbed more majors in 1961-1964 and more again from 1966 -1968 but for that arm/ shoulder injury. She played most of the majors, but she could not serve well or hit her forehand with the same power.
Her final comeback was basically that she had to win in 2, or 3 quick sets before the cortisone shot wore off. She basically only came back to earn money.
 

brystone

Semi-Pro
Court only won 2 Australian Opens in 60 and 61, and Connolly like most people probably wouldnt have even played them. I believe her Grand Slam year was the only year of all of 51-54 she bothered to play the Australian Open for instance, she would probably play it like once more to do another Grand Slam in some year she felt like it, and that is about it. Court did not start winning regularly until 62. Connolly though would still have been only 27/28 then so she might well have cut into the first part of Court's dominance of 62-65. Which may have led to Court not getting bored and retiring awhile in mid 66, which may have in turn cut into King's rise. A lot of things might have changed.

Bueno is harder to say, but she was never a dominant player like Court, and Connolly would only be mid 20s when she was first on top in 59-61 so she probably would be even more affected.

I see both Court and Bueno having a hard time with Connolly. Connolly was like a better and much more dominant version of pre stabbing Seles. Court probably had the game to take her on but her fragile mentality would be severely tested against the rock mind and rock perfect ground game of Maureen. Bueno apprently was an amazing shotmaker but not overpowering or even super fast on foot, and could be inconsistent at times too, and had fragile health. I see her having even less capacity to deal with Maureen than Court who atleast had the powerful all court game to challenge Maureen.

The other person not mentioned is Gibson. The one good thing about the tragedy that befell Maureen is Gibson's eventual rise was able to happen and that was hugely important to the future of the womens game, particularly inspiring future players of all races.
 

brystone

Semi-Pro
When Mandlikova was on, she is the only player I ever saw that could make Martina look like a passenger on the ride, instead of the driver. Martina definitely did not like that feeling. Evert handled these patches of Hana brilliance a lot more stoically. Evert truly believed that the Percentage Gods would eventually punish Hana for her hubris. Well, sometimes they could not stop Hana either!
I think that is a bit of an exagerration. Even in a match like the 85 U.S Open final where Hana was playing some of the best tennis of her life she still barely won, and Martina had more winners that match (I think it was 54 to 45). No doubt Hana was extremely talented but inconsistent, but those kinds of sayings I think are repeated so often some confuse them with fact.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Connolly was born in 1934.
Court was born in 1942.
Brough was born in 23, Hart in 25, du Pont in 18, Betz in 19. Therefore, it seems to me that Connolly reached her peak towards the end to those ladies peaks, especially du Pont and Betz. Perhaps Connolly benefited from the advanced ages of these women?
 

brystone

Semi-Pro
Brough was born in 23, Hart in 25, du Pont in 18, Betz in 19. Therefore, it seems to me that Connolly reached her peak towards the end to those ladies peaks, especially du Pont and Betz. Perhaps Connolly benefited from the advanced ages of these women?
Connolly probably benefitted from Brough and Du Pont being past their best. Du Pont especialy was pretty much done and nowhere near her prime anywhere when Connolly started to dominate. Not sure Betz even played tennis anymore, she and Du Pont also had their time on top cut into by World War 11.

Hart really did play her own best ever tennis during the Connolly reign though by her own admission. She was still coming into her own during the Brough/Du Pont dominance, and the Connolly era would have been Hart's time on top had it not been for Maureen.
 

Dan Lobb

G.O.A.T.
Connolly probably benefitted from Brough and Du Pont being past their best. Du Pont especialy was pretty much done and nowhere near her prime anywhere when Connolly started to dominate. Not sure Betz even played tennis anymore, she and Du Pont also had their time on top cut into by World War 11.

Hart really did play her own best ever tennis during the Connolly reign though by her own admission. She was still coming into her own during the Brough/Du Pont dominance, and the Connolly era would have been Hart's time on top had it not been for Maureen.
Betz turned pro early, shortly after the war.
The best of her era.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
Betz turned pro early, shortly after the war.
The best of her era.
I think that Betz's game was more like Connolly's, not a serve and volleyer like Brough, du Pont or Hart. I have read that she was a great offensive and defensive baseline player, therefore, I do think that peak Betz would have done better than the others vs Connolly. I read that when Hart beat Connolly in the final at Rome, she deserted her usual game and slugged it out with Maureen from the baseline.
 
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