Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by grafforehand, Oct 4, 2013.
In case they thought of inviting Laver, he adores saussages and bacon.
It looks like so far most believe Graf is not only GOAT but the greatest ever on each individual surface, just as I do.
Not at all.
You may not believe that, which is fine. I did not say all, I said most.
This is a sensible post, not agenda -driven with some perspective . I happen to view Graf as GOAT, because she has the most balanced attack on the record books. I see Martina is GOAT on grass and 'hostess with the mostest' in so many categories but with so many majors reflecting her fast court supremacy, it leaves her slow court game numbers lower than any GOAT excepting Serena. Evert has all those astonishing consistency records, and the greatest single record reflecting total surface dominance male or female in our sport, but we are left asking couldn't she convert one of those Wimbledon finals over Martina on fast grass? Three just isn't enough after all those semis and finals. As for Serena she has one more major on hard than Graf but looses something with more early round losses. Currently I see Graf as having the best hard court record by a hair, but one more major title at the Aussie or Open and Graf is left second best to all three on their surface, yet oddly second to none.
Steffi is GOAT! Serena is definitely gaining on Evert and Navralitova (but until she surpasses Steffi, remains to be seen). Court (with 24, no matter the circumstance in her era, she definitely is co-GOAT), however, she doesn't care nor crave the attention in the goathood debate, thus her name is often left aside, even neglected.
Graf may be the 'GOAT', though it is often a question of interpretation and personal taste deciding that question. She certainly has great numbers and she didn't have a weak surface. I have less doubts calling Steffi the best all round player than saying she was the best on each surface when I don't believe she has the titles on each surface or displayed the dominance on each surface to claim that.
That would explain the stroke he had some time back.
Steffi definitely has the titles. she has more FOs than seles
Yeah. Gunter P had to stab the girl to help Steffi get to no.1 again.
The biggest problem with these questions is weighing our criteria before we even try to establish an evidence- based review if the record. How important is consistency to you? How important is peak play to you? How important is versatility to you? Do you see doubles as a different event requiring a separate review or do you allow doubles records to impact the result? Do you use the same criteria and records to measure champions of older eras, or do you alter or separate the discussion entirely (Wills, lenglen Connolly)
Steffi has to be on anyones short list for GOAT , just as Court, Evert Navratilova and Serena do. Beyond that its about what we want and honor in a champion.
Uniquely, I think Graf should be on everyone's short list for all these surface GOAT(unless you add doubles). Doesn't mean she wins all, or any for that matter. Her best case is hard courts, IMO.
Remember what Mandlikova did to Graf in the 86 FO?
yeah but I believe that was the match in which steffi sprained her thumb on her right hand.
oh¡ she never got hurt in that nose?
I think she was surprised by Sharapova. Sometimes a young unknown is dangerous because they are fearless and you don't know what to expect from them. Serena figured her out pretty quickly. I think their head to head and 2012 Olympic humiliation on grass should prove this incident to be an anomaly.
I'm assuming Serena's ankle was still bad in 2005 since she withdrew from the French over it (do you really think healthy Serena would lose on grass to Craybas???).
I thought Henin was supposed to be a big deal Maybe not a grass goat, but this is the first time I've heard her name used as evidence of a weak field.
Bartoli? Not shameful at all considering grass is Bartoli's best surface and this was Serena's second tournament back after long break from foot injury and life threatening pulminary embulism (she memorably wept when she won the first round because she wasn't sure if she would ever be able to compete again). She was fat, out of practice, had a hematoma on her stomach, and was adjusting to her reduced lung capacity.
It is widely accepted that Lisicki is good on grass when she's not being emotional or overcooking it. Nobody wants her in their Wimbledon draw.
Anyway a loss is a loss, but if you're going to cite these losses as evidence of her weakness, I don't agree with you.
Serena is great on grass. It's too bad there are so few tournaments on it. Same for Venus.
Yeah. seles was never dominating the H2H and still couldn't get to number 1 even after Steffi retired LOL
See if you can figure out why she did not get back to Number 1 after being stabbed, on your own.
I've said it before: too many chips; not enough training.
Graf was a great champion and competitor and still only in her early 20's herself so Seles was never dominating the H2H, but after three early Graf wins when Monica was only 15, which you'd expect, Seles was up 4-3 from 1990-93. Seles was getting the better of Steffi in the big finals outside of Wimbledon and quite frankly, dominating the big prizes in 91 and 92 and coming into 93. These are all facts. Seles was putting together consistent results all year long 91, 92 as her regular tournament wins show. Clear number one. I happen to think Graf may have come back to knock Monica off the number spot legitimately some time, because Steffi was proud, a true champ and a great athlete, but the fact remains that she lost her biggest rival for the big titles in 1993 and the game missed Monica. It is why, for me, there is a question mark about Graf's Grand Slam total. By the late 90's, a new group of young, peaking players had arrived on the scene anyway, totally different point and irrelevant to the earlier situation.
uh, they had only met in four GS finals before the stabbing (when Steffi's slump was underway). One was incredibly close on seles' best surface. the others were blowouts on Steffi's best. the only questionable one for Steffi was the '93 AO that she said she was in her best ever form in. Steffi was still dealing with her slump in this time (she wasn't at her '88/'95 level) and when she came out of it, still had injuries to deal with. she still got the slams, though. monica couldn't recover because she wasn't mentally tough enough to. at no point was seles getting the better of Steffi in general. clay was hard-fought, and we all know seles sucked on grass (and hard/indoor vs Steffi).
like i said, Steffi was in a slump until '95 and she had major injuries and publicity issues from even then to her retirement. seles had one injury and it destroyed her. she's soft, sorry. Steffi had worse injuries in her career, and many more.
and there's no question mark on the total for me. it's 22. that's what her trophies add up to, after all.
I don't have a dog in this goat fight, but I think this statement is either rude or clueless. The psychological trauma of someone trying to kill her on the tennis court during a match is obviously greater than the stab wound she suffered or she would have resumed form. I don't think you can classify it as the same type of injury. Psychological trauma is weird. Everybody copes differently. Some people can bounce right back, but there are plenty of very heroic people whose lives have been ruined by PTSD. I think the fact that she came back and competed says she is definitely NOT soft! Many people in her situation would never have steppped foot on a court again, let alone return to competition. Maybe Steffi would have quit for good if the tables had been turned. Obviously we can't know that, but their injuries are not comparable. I don't think this mean spiritedness helps your argument.
You are making a lot of excuses here. If she walked on the court then she was healthy enough to play just as Seles was. Graf's 'slump' is her legacy just as much as those 22 majors and Seles lackluster results post stabbing was.. Could be Graf got lazy. Could be Graf just didn't care. Could be Graf was intimidated.
This quote form XavierG remains unrebutted, "...after three early Graf wins when Monica was only 15, which you'd expect, Seles was up 4-3 from 1990-93. Seles was getting the better of Steffi in the big finals outside of Wimbledon and quite frankly, dominating the big prizes in 91 and 92 and coming into 93. These are all facts. Seles was putting together consistent results all year long 91, 92 as her regular tournament wins show. Clear number one"
that's because Graf doesn't let these things get in her way. she played for a GS with a freaking back brace on.
seles LITERALLY chose to EAT long after she had healed her injury that realistically lasted for a couple of weeks. it's not Steffi's fault that seles lost her work ethic. did Graf lose her work ethic
"Could be Graf got lazy. Could be Graf just didn't care. Could be Graf was intimidated."
you're being inane now. what caused her slump(s) is obvious to anyone who follows 90s women's tennis, let alone Steffi in particular.
Idk what the heck you're talking about with that post excerpt. Slam finals, I hope. because seles NEVER led the general H2H against Steffi. Also, for whatever reasons, Steffi didn't make most of seles' during that period. only total fools would count matches against the H2H that she wasn't even there for. that's incredibly desperate. sorry, but the only matches from 1990-1993, seles led 3-2. none of this "4-3" garbage. if you want to add, you can add Steffi's previous slams that you're so relunctant to include because they make seles look worse. sorry, but it's a part of the H2H. No "excuses" as you say.
5-3. in steffi's favor. don't let us continue further in the years. it'll just tarnish seles even more.
BTW, it's very funny how quick you are to praise seles during Steffi's slump—but Graf's prime during seles' intentional layoffs even when she comes back? Oh no, we can't do that! get that hypocrisy the hell out of here. this is why i despise seledrones that are quick to attack a rival during her slump and try to tear her down when she gets it together.
maybe "soft" was too far. she didn't have the motivation, though. that's a fact.
Steffi was literally one match AND point away from quitting tennis when she played sabatini in the 1991 Wimbledon.
LOL, You might want to look over some of my old posts. They're pretty odd for a Selesdrone! You don't get me at all.
Let me try this. I praise Seles for every single thing she accomplished as a professional. She owns it and wears it. I don't listen to you or anyone else marginalize or minimize it . Seles made an effort at a comeback to mixed results. Those are on her record too and she wears them however frayed.
When you hypothesize about her post stabbing 'slump', with the kind of disparaging and demeaning tone that you have here, be prepared to have Graf's 'slump' treated with the same contempt and disdain. . I did not directly call Graf lazy or indifferent or intimidated because I don't believe any of that remotely. But you deserve to hear those possibilities.
So here is the good news, Graf gets every single one of her 22 majors without any question or temporising. I don't listen to anyone else who tries to marginalize or minimize it, because that means Gunter gets to hold the whole tour including Graf hostages. Graf did the work, showed up and beat all-comers.
I may be one of the few Selesdrones, who endorse Graf as my undisputed GOAT. Graf did not get any luckier than many other champions , who owe a chunk of good fortune to the bad fortune of contenders.
It gets on my last nerve when some Graf or Seles 'fan' behaves worse than either Graf or Seles ever would because they are both good decent people who deserve respect. Its not what you say, it's the tone you use that makes me worry about your intent.
no, i think i've seen enough.
i hypothesize? you don't know the word. i'm saying exactly what she did. seles put off training forever and didn't get results that she may have been able to get. Steffi did the complete opposite and got her earned results. "possibilities" nothing. we go by what happened. both girls had their moments of lacking, even though Steffi's period was longer. seles never got back into it because she wasn't there mentally. that's only her fault. you can "demean and disdain" Graf's slumps, but the point is she was strong enough to recover from them and they were in greater number and worse.
enough with your hypotheticals...and it's "Seledrone".
i almost enjoy the sarcasm, even though it's entirely true—seemingly unbeknownst to you.
first of all, i'm not simple "fan": i'm more of a protégé. second of all, i don't really care what you think. losing an argument doesn't mean my "tone" is bad. i'm sure you wouldn't be thinking that if you weren't. and third of all, starting off with "You are making a lot of excuses here." doesn't really help any of that argument against my behavior.
btw, how's THAT last paragraph for excuses?
There wasn't an argument at all. if you just let the wins and losses do the talking, its all good.
"like i said, Steffi was in a slump until '95 and she had major injuries and publicity issues from even then to her retirement. seles had one injury and it destroyed her. she's soft, sorry. Steffi had worse injuries in her career, and many more"
You are a'protege' but I am a 'Seledrone'.
yes: Steffi has a higher w/l ratio and led the H2H at all times.
facts burn, don't they?
You still don't get it. You really think you are winning an argument here. Wow.
You haven't even got your stats right. Do your research!
I repeat: After three Graf wins in 1989 when Monica was only 15, Seles led 4-3 against Graf over years 1990-93. That made 6-4 Graf prior to the stabbing, but Seles led 3-1 in their four Grand Slam Finals. Seles won the FO 90 final, the FO 92 final and the AO 93 final. Graf won the W 92 final.
1989 FO Graf win
1989 Wim Graf win
1989 Brighton Graf win
1990 Berlin Seles win
1990 FO Seles win
1991 US HC Graf win
1991 Hamburg Graf win
1992 FO Seles win
1992 Wim Graf win
1993 AO Seles win
From 1990 when Seles really became relevant on the big stage, to 1993, Seles was 4-3 up and beat Graf in three of their four GS finals.
The fact remains that Seles was winning three out of four GS a year, putting together great results on the tour too and was clear number 1 prior to the attack on her. Seles was mentally tough prior to the assault.
PS, when it comes to numbers, Margaret Court has 24 Big Ones including a calender year Grand Slam and more titles overall than Steffi, and Martina and Chrissie have both won many more titles than Steffi too. Steffi isn't GOAT by pure numbers anyway and Margaret and Martina were often playing doubles too!.....
And this is the post, basically, that I claimed was unrefuted and still is. I like it and the conclusions it draws from the limited fact base . My only problem is that it stops the clock at the stabbing. That is not what Seles wanted us to do, because she did not stop the clock. She trained, worked and said she was ready to come back. She was ready to risk what she had built, with a new chapter. Her legacy includes every match she played until she hung up her racket. That means she gets that extra Aussie, the extra US final and every single loss she accrued. Graf1st class is very inartfully noting that Graf was tenacious in times of personal trouble, yet still being judged on results, which may have including a few of those losses to Seles. I am not prepared to entertain specifics, but Seles took risks with her legacy, and gained income from the tennis she played post recovery, yet sometimes we tend to undermine the victories players fought for, as wins over the 'shell', and dismiss them.
We need to let the clock run because Seles asked us to when she stepped back on court.
Concessions from you can be accepted at any time.
I love how you start from '90 to make it seem like seles actually led the H2H at one point. Life didn't start in 1990.
It started in 1989. So, there's only 6-4. If you only want to count Graf's slump in your 4-3 bs, you should be just as willing to count seles' slump. seles recovered in 1993, but I could give her a 5 year break and skip the 1995-1997 losses, only starting with her 1998 losses. Steffi would STILL lead. That's how bad her mentality was at the time. It's no excuse if you want to stake out a claim of being the GOAT.
Well, duh; Steffi was slumping. When seles slumped (for a decade), Steffi clearly blasted ahead of her. And I think you meant to say seles was down 4-6. "When she really became relevant." stop with these sorry defenses. Facts are facts.
But, if you wanna hypothesize some more, Steffi was beginning to come out of her lagging period. She wasn't going to lose Wimbledon, and she was able to match seles on her best surface. You think Steffi would just keep losing close, 3-setters in her 1995 prime? LOL.
...what? She didn't even make 3 GS finals in 1992, let alone 1991 or 1993. Please don't blatantly lie to make her seem as cool as Steffi. :roll:
PS, all three of those players played in weak eras where they were lucky to be over two dominating players any given time...and they played doubles more than singles....
Steffi won more singles titles than martina and chris. She didn't want to focus on wack doubles like those sissies who knew they weren't going to beat her in singles. That obviously explains navratilova's doubles reign. As if Steffi could care any less.
22 > 18 = 18. Sorry, bud.
As everyone knows, doubles focus is for singles rejects. But you can cling onto that. No one will really care. LOL at bringing up doubles focus in a weak, no power era, in a GOAT thread. Desperation is evident.
Here's what I mean--
If we look at these numbers, then I would say yes, Graf is the best on all surfaces, because she has the best and greatest distribution on all of them.
At the same time she is not the best on every surface.
For instance she is not better than Martina at Wimbledon. She is not better than Chris at the FO. She is not better than Margaret Court at the Australian Championships.
So she may be the best on all of the surfaces, but not the nest on every surface.
I'm glad Monica came back and won another Slam title, but she wasn't the same Seles for all sorts of reasons. All her matches post-stabbing count, but that wasn't the Monica we knew. Of course she had changed, how could she not have?!? At least you talk sense and put forward sensible arguments unlike Graf1stClass....
wouldn´t it make Graf bigger if he fans would just aknowledge how a phenomenal challenge Seles was?
Only as long as no one forgets that every Graf loss was about a 'slump' and in no way should a Seles victory constitute proof that the woman could beat 'peak' Graf. Otherwise Seles was the toughest competition any number 1 player ever had, still she was only a drop in the bucket full of the greatest talent pool in the history of womens tennis.
Well, I think the whole 90´s are a true Golden Era for the girls tennis.Very competitive and loaded with great players on all the surfaces.There have been a couple of eras like that ( 1971-1976 and 1979-1982) but it is a very interesting time.
Whike I am not a big fan of either, one cannot deny that Steffi was already a superstar before even being one.In 1982, aged 13 she was already getting the interest of the tennis entourage...while beating girls 5 yrs older¡¡¡
Why shouldn't Kiki bring that up considering that the OP brought up Evert's loss to Jordan at Wimbledon even though she was quite sick, as well as the 88 loss to Sanchez at the French even though she had a heel injury.
Fair is fair after all and if you're going to call one out, then call everyone else out too.
I never said the match should not be brought up. I concede your point on the inconsistency but there is a rationale. I personally do not often refer to Evert's illness, or her heel because at the time, she refused to, directly after the loss. With her record of consistency regardless of circumstance over 18 years, she can afford to be gracious about two of the four times she failed to make the semis in 56 majors. Can you imagine the laundry list of injuries and illnesses that opens the discussion to in everyone elses record? If anyone can afford the high road on this issue its' Evert! Does that make any sense to you?
No doubt she is probably the most "adaptable" tennis player ever when it comes to surfaces.
Outside of maybe her husband
And that is why she is my GOAT candidate, but she is not my Goddess.
I would say that Graf was one of the most versatile champions ever in women's tennis because she had the type of game that played well for her on any surface. I didn't vote in the poll however because I thought the choices were too limiting.
Three aspects of Graf's game made her quite tough to beat on any surface - her superb footspeed/footwork, her devastating forehand and her mental toughness.
For a while in the late 80s and early 90s I was most definitely not a Graf fan (I didn't like how she seemed contemptuous and dismissive, almost to the point of rudeness, of the other women) but I grew to appreciate her more when some of that icy exterior melted as she got older and now I count myself a fan and I do find myself missing watching her play.
Women's tennis in general these days is such a horrible joke that one can't help looking back instead of forward - IMO there isn't anything to look forward to but hopefully that will change.
My opinion is that the Poll needs to be re-configured to offer the following option:
Yes, she is the best on all surfaces, but not every surface.
Court's 24 slams doesn't make her best of anything. Everyone knows the Australian Open back then was a complete joke and that is where she won virtually half (11) of her slams. That is over twice as many as she won anywhere else (5 is her highest of the other 3). Everyone regards 22 as the real slam mark. During the U.S Open when they were showing the numbers Serena was chasing they showed Steffi at 22, Helen at 19, and Evert and Navratilova at 18, cutting Court out altogether since everyone knows her Aussie Open based record is a joke.
She is by far the female GOAT and by far the best all surface player ever, man or women. To whether she is the best ever on every individual surface? Not sure. By surface:
Hard courts- Yes for sure. Serena is too inconsistent to be over her without atleast another couple more hard court majors. She will probably surpass her as the hard court GOAT eventually though.
Grass- I would say yes. An earlier poster brought up a good point that Navratilova averaged only 6 grass majors vs her who has averaged 7. Anyway her for sure was breaking Martina's Wimbledon record had it not been for her virtually career ending knee surgery in 1997. Wimbledons 1997, 1998, and 1999 atleast were all hers otherwise.
Clay- I would say probably no. I do think prime to prime her would beat Evert more often than not on clay, but I also think Seles and Henin would have and I don't rate them over Evert on clay either. I do agree she had by far harder clay competition, and it is a large reason she didn't surpass Evert on clay, but it is what it is.
Evert simply has the longevity, consistency, achievements, and records too much on the surface to be put below anyone. She would have had to break Evert's French Open record to overcome things like Evert's 125 match clay win streak, her semifinal streak on clay, etc...and she didn't.
Carpet- Probably not. I would give Navratilova 1st there and her 2nd I think. Again I agree she faced a tougher carpet and indoor field but again numbers trumps all (other than extreme cases of obvious illegitimacy like Court's slam record).
So I would say she is best ever on hard courts, best ever on grass (although Navratilova and Williams have a case too), 2nd best behind Evert on clay, and 2nd best behind Navratilova on carpet. Easily the overall GOAT though.
As for Seles vs Graf arguments I break their head to head down into 4 stages:
1989-1990: Prime #1 Graf vs young pre prime Seles. Graf leads 3-2
1991-early 1993: Peak #1 Seles vs mostly slumping Graf. Graf leads 3-2
1995-1996: Comeback from layoff/stabbing Seles vs prime dominating Graf. Graf leads 2-0
mid 20s Seles vs 30 year old post surgery/well past prime Graf. Graf leads 2-1
So basically they played in 2 phases Graf should have had the advantage (89-90 and 95-96). They played 2 others Seles should have (91-early 93 and 98-99). Graf was leading the head to head in all 4, and was doing better as far as results in 3 of the 4. Graf has produced about 4 years better than Seles's best ever- 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996, and has produced about 12 years better than Seles's 3rd or 4th best year ever. The what ifs of the stabbing aside there is no doubt who is the better player.
Seles deserves credit for being the best player in the World for 2 years. Good for her. During her best and 2nd best years ever she was better than Graf during her 11th and 12th best years ever. Justine Henin who has less slams than her was the best player in the World for 4 years.
Best for 2 years does not a GOAT make.
Nope. 24 > 22. Plus Court won more singles titles than Graf anyway.
Graf is not the best on any surface.
Obsessed Graf fanatics stuck in the past are a complete joke and very sad. Steffi doesn't even know or care about you.
Separate names with a comma.