Is Navratilova Underrated? Why?

#1
I struggle with this one … so please help me understand the rationale behind how Martina Navratilova is viewed. In this day and age of record’s no one seems to talk about her career. Even when Roger reached 100 tournament wins, no one discussed Navratilova at 167. Yes, 167! And she had 177 doubles wins! And 10 mixed doubles wins. She has less Grand Slams than Serena for sure, but had a much tougher rival in Evert. I have even noticed that these boards rate Graf as a more “complete” player than Navratilova, who had beaten Steffi in slams later in her career and was certainly stronger coming forward than Steffi ever was. She also had more weeks at number one than Serena currently has (at 332, second below Graf at 377).

And this is no disrespect to Steffi or Serena who are obviously all-time greats (and certainly none towards Federer), but mostly wondering why there isn’t more credit given to the ridiculous accomplishments and longevity of Martina. Is it the Grand Slam total of 18? Is it something else?
 

Azure

Hall of Fame
#2
Myopic view of grand slam singles titles being the means all and ends all of glory. To me, personally she is the best because of what she has contributed towards the sport, which is beyond the 18. Amazing longevity, tremendous doubles record, supreme dominance on grass and sheer will power. She was once being routines by Chrissie in tournaments and she turned the tables around.

Look at her here


And her transformed physique



And yes, at nearly 50-



True blue champion
 
#4
Myopic view of grand slam singles titles being the means all and ends all of glory. To me, personally she is the best because of what she has contributed towards the sport, which is beyond the 18. Amazing longevity, tremendous doubles record, supreme dominance on grass and sheer will power. She was once being routines by Chrissie in tournaments and she turned the tables around.

Look at her here


And her transformed physique



And yes, at nearly 50-



True blue champion
Excellent post. Thank you! Completely agree and wish others did as well.
 

TMF

Talk Tennis Guru
#7
Without a doubt she's in GOAT discussion. Her tennis records are just insane and will never like be broken.

People who discredit her is because they don't like her.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
#8
I struggle with this one … so please help me understand the rationale behind how Martina Navratilova is viewed. In this day and age of record’s no one seems to talk about her career. Even when Roger reached 100 tournament wins, no one discussed Navratilova at 167. Yes, 167! And she had 177 doubles wins! And 10 mixed doubles wins. She has less Grand Slams than Serena for sure, but had a much tougher rival in Evert. I have even noticed that these boards rate Graf as a more “complete” player than Navratilova, who had beaten Steffi in slams later in her career and was certainly stronger coming forward than Steffi ever was. She also had more weeks at number one than Serena currently has (at 332, second below Graf at 377).

And this is no disrespect to Steffi or Serena who are obviously all-time greats (and certainly none towards Federer), but mostly wondering why there isn’t more credit given to the ridiculous accomplishments and longevity of Martina. Is it the Grand Slam total of 18? Is it something else?

OP it might be best to start with parsing your underlying assumptions -

1. Player possesses Records => gets Talked about
2. How Martina is viewed = simply function of her records
3. All tennis records are (or should be) given equal weight in public perception (male vs female, slam vs non-slam, singles vs doubles etc)

I'm not saying these are right or wrong. Just want to point out that these seem to be your assumptions and that may not hold true.

These debates tend to be fairly subjective with cherry picked stats trotted out in support of one's perception, so I wouldn't be surprised if huge biases (including non-tennis ones) influence the discussion right from the beginning.
 
#9
OP it might be best to start with parsing your underlying assumptions -

1. Player possesses Records => gets Talked about
2. How Martina is viewed = simply function of her records
3. All tennis records are (or should be) given equal weight in public perception (male vs female, slam vs non-slam, singles vs doubles etc)

I'm not saying these are right or wrong. Just want to point out that these seem to be your assumptions and that may not hold true.

These debates tend to be fairly subjective with cherry picked stats trotted out in support of one's perception, so I wouldn't be surprised if huge biases (including non-tennis ones) influence the discussion right from the beginning.
And I completely understand that ... so please explain where they do not hold true, or where the biases exist.
 
D

Deleted member 763024

Guest
#10
And I completely understand that ... so please explain where they do not hold true, or where the biases exist.
Each of these are topics unto themselves. I'm sure there are others who will engage you on specifics

I'm not THAT interested in Martina one way or other.

Sorry those were my 2 cents and I'll see myself out of this thread :)
 

Towny

Professional
#11
A combination of factors

Why isn't she talked about in relation to Federer's title haul? Because people don't tend to compare men's tennis with women's tennis in that way. Sure, it does happen, but it isn't always relevant. In the Open era, only one male tennis player won 100 titles before Federer, and that player played into his 40s and is renown for having incredible longevity. That Federer is close to his achievement is a big deal. Evert, Graf and Navratilova all passed 100 titles, Evert and Navratilova by a huge margin. The circumstances were different, so comparing Federer to Navratilova and showing his title haul is still considerably dwarfed by hers isn't particularly relevant in this context.

As for comparing her to other female ATGs, I agree that she is underrated. Although she has fewer slams than Steffi and Serena, she's probably more or less on a par with them. However, Steffi had more slams and more weeks/years at number 1 than Martina and Serena has the Open Era slam record. That's quite significant in terms of public perception.

There's also the recency factor. Both Steffi and Serena have played more recently than Martina, especially Serena. That's obviously going to be a factor.

I'm not sure how underrated she is on this board though. I've seen several people put her in 1st or 2nd place in the Open Era, and she is invariably considered top 3 or 4 at worst. If anything, in terms of female ATGs, I think Court gets the rawest deal
 
#15
Margie >= Chrissie >= Martina > Serena = Graf.
Underrated?
Lol, Marge is not GOAT of women's tennis. Apart experts from FPPT and Australians, she no one considers it a GOAT. Most of her titles are subordinaty, reasons are - weak game field on AO in her time and most of her results come from time before professionalization of tennis.
 
#17
A combination of factors

Why isn't she talked about in relation to Federer's title haul? Because people don't tend to compare men's tennis with women's tennis in that way. Sure, it does happen, but it isn't always relevant. In the Open era, only one male tennis player won 100 titles before Federer, and that player played into his 40s and is renown for having incredible longevity. That Federer is close to his achievement is a big deal. Evert, Graf and Navratilova all passed 100 titles, Evert and Navratilova by a huge margin. The circumstances were different, so comparing Federer to Navratilova and showing his title haul is still considerably dwarfed by hers isn't particularly relevant in this context.

As for comparing her to other female ATGs, I agree that she is underrated. Although she has fewer slams than Steffi and Serena, she's probably more or less on a par with them. However, Steffi had more slams and more weeks/years at number 1 than Martina and Serena has the Open Era slam record. That's quite significant in terms of public perception.

There's also the recency factor. Both Steffi and Serena have played more recently than Martina, especially Serena. That's obviously going to be a factor.

I'm not sure how underrated she is on this board though. I've seen several people put her in 1st or 2nd place in the Open Era, and she is invariably considered top 3 or 4 at worst. If anything, in terms of female ATGs, I think Court gets the rawest deal
Thank you for this post ... I was not implying that she should be compared to Federer, just that I rarely hear of her record discussed. I realize that two other women have over 100 but that's still only two and quite an impressive feat. I personally had not noticed the support for her on these boards and glad to find your statement to be accurate.
 
#18
regarding the number of titles her and evert won, there is quite a few of them that required you to play 2 rounds to win them , so the quality factor comes into play. next up is the slowness of the game when she started and peaked. then there is the fact that graf achieved the golden grand slam (winning 5 slams in a row and was 2 points from winning 9 slams in a row, including 2 consecutive cygs) and the non calendar grand slam once, and serena achieved the non cgs twice, whereas martina only did it once winning 6 in a row. there are a lot of other factors that are in her favor and against her, just like for graf and serena. one thing is sure, none of these 3 are underrated and they are the 3 who tend to be in the top 3 greatest of all time discussions.
 
#19
I struggle with this one … so please help me understand the rationale behind how Martina Navratilova is viewed. In this day and age of record’s no one seems to talk about her career.
She's discussed in the proper historical context--she was successful, but never won the most singles majors, and above all else, she could not win the Grand Slam, therefore, she--like other players in a similar position--are not going to be celebrated as the greatest, nor would she ever deserve such a distinction.
 
#20
I struggle with this one … so please help me understand the rationale behind how Martina Navratilova is viewed. In this day and age of record’s no one seems to talk about her career. Even when Roger reached 100 tournament wins, no one discussed Navratilova at 167. Yes, 167! And she had 177 doubles wins! And 10 mixed doubles wins. She has less Grand Slams than Serena for sure, but had a much tougher rival in Evert. I have even noticed that these boards rate Graf as a more “complete” player than Navratilova, who had beaten Steffi in slams later in her career and was certainly stronger coming forward than Steffi ever was. She also had more weeks at number one than Serena currently has (at 332, second below Graf at 377).

And this is no disrespect to Steffi or Serena who are obviously all-time greats (and certainly none towards Federer), but mostly wondering why there isn’t more credit given to the ridiculous accomplishments and longevity of Martina. Is it the Grand Slam total of 18? Is it something else?
A strong case can be made for Martina being the greatest, and several did just that. I'm not adamant about who is the women's OE GOAT. Most of the discussion I've seen revolves around singles slams (only), and is geared towards either Serena or Steffi. As such, I think both Martina and Chrissie get a little shortchanged

I really don't have a problem with only considering singles records in GOAT talk; in fact, that's implicit to me. (Otherwise, John McEnroe would be much higher on my men's list than he already is.). Where it gets myopic, to me, is when people only discuss number of majors won. Yes, that's a big factor, but shouldn't be everything.

Lastly, "we" get so carried away with determining GOATs in sports, that we tend to underappreciate those we relegate to non-goat status, as if being the second, third or even the 20th greatest player of the last 51 years is something to be scoffed at.

In the end, Martina's career should probably be celebrated a little more than it seems to be. Putting Court aside (who straddled. eras), Martina can be credibly ranked as anywhere from first to third. In adopting modern training techniques and in advocating for others (in addition to her insane records) her legacy is immense.
 
#21
Martina's career is certainly debatable as GOAT worthy

18 majors out of 32 major finals reached (I believe only Evert has reached more major finals than her..Serena however is nipping at her heels with 31 finals)
8 YEC titles out of 14 finals reached...this includes winning 5 straight from 1983 through 1986...1986 having 2 such tournaments
167 tournaments won (out of like 240 finals reached)
from 1974 to 1994 was in the year end top 10, was in the year end top 5 from 1975 to 1993
in Every year from 1978 to 1986 she won 10 or more titles.
won a major and made multiple major finals in 3 different decades. Serena has also won a major in 3 different decades but Martina is the only person to have more than 1 major final in 3 difference decades.

Did she win the most majors out of anybody? No
Did she win the calendar year Slam? No (although she did at one point win 6 majors in a row which somehow doesn't get much credit)

Is she still debatable..yes
 
#22
I regularly throw in Navratilova when people make Goat claims. She was such an impressive player, with such a complete skillset. Her volleys and slices are among the sharpest the game has seen, and her movement was graceful and efficient. One of the players I truly enjoy watching - over and over.
 
#24
I struggle with this one … so please help me understand the rationale behind how Martina Navratilova is viewed. In this day and age of record’s no one seems to talk about her career. Even when Roger reached 100 tournament wins, no one discussed Navratilova at 167. Yes, 167! And she had 177 doubles wins! And 10 mixed doubles wins. She has less Grand Slams than Serena for sure
Perhaps it is because no one includes her doubles slam titles when totalling her "Grand Slams".

Martina's slam totals are
18 + 31 + 10 = 59 total slam titles

Serena's slam totals are
23 + 14 + 2 = 39 total slam titles

Are we too slam-biased and singles-centric? Methinks we are.
 
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#25
Perhaps it is because no one includes her doubles slam titles when totalling her "Grand Slams".

Martina's slam totals are
18 + 31 + 10 = 59 total slam titles

Serena's slam totals are
23 + 14 + 2 = 39 total slam titles

Are we too slam-biased and singles-centric? Methinks we are.
And that's my point ... especially when discussing who is a "complete" player. Martina had an all-around game, while Serena had/has the power game. And Martina won more doubles titles and mixed doubles titles than almost everyone, male or female. The only exception is Paes I believe, who was tied with her in mixed.
 
#26
Incorrect.

3rd place all time on court.

Massive ego and unattractive personality off court.
I agree with you on your last point.

On court, probably one of the best. I don't think she's underrated; people give her enough credit. But off court, it's a different story.

I was at USO when she was there filming a short segment for Tennis Channel on one of the indoor court that's normally used for demoing racquets, free instructions, etc. Adoring fans were plenty, cheering and clapping for her before and after she walked into the court. She didn't seem to acknowledge these fans nor stopped to sign any autograph for many near the court entrance - she just finished the filming and walked briskly off the court.

Maybe she had interview lining up, but it just didn't give a good impression.

IMO, you described her off court personality well.
 
#27
Perhaps it is because no one includes her doubles slam titles when totalling her "Grand Slams".

Martina's slam totals are
18 + 31 + 10 = 59 total slam titles

Serena's slam totals are
23 + 14 + 2 = 39 total slam titles

Are we too slam-biased and singles-centric? Methinks we are.
Perhaps we are but now-a-days top players in singles do not play doubles. This trend probably only started about 20 years ago, but its become the norm. Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the number 1 doubles player for a long time and couldn't even consistently stay in the top 100 in singles. Doubles has more and more become more of a specialty branch of tennis, Mixed doubles is honestly nothing more than a fun doubles exhibition at this point where almost anything can happen.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#28
Martina's peak was absolutely insane. I think that her peak alone is enough to put her in the GOAT conversation. 14 straight wins against her nemesis(Evert). She also won 6 straight slam titles and went to 11 consecutive slam finals. But it's her winning pct in singles that absolutely blows my mind. She went 90-3 in 1982, 86-1 in 1983, 78-2 in 1984, 84-5 in 1985, and 89-3 in 1986. These records are insane.

Her 86-1 in 1983 was crazy. She won 16 singles titles that year. She didn't drop a single set in Wimbledon or the USO that year.

Martina didn't drop a set at Wimbledon from 1982-1984. That is absurd going 3 straight years at Wimbledon without dropping a set. As a matter of fact, Martina only dropped 2 sets in 6 years at Wimbledon while sweeping all 6 titles.

Martina in singles alone has a GOAT claim. Let's not forget that she skipped the AO several times. The AO wasn't held in 1986, which was a peak year for her.
 
#29
Lol, Marge is not GOAT of women's tennis. Apart experts from FPPT and Australians, she no one considers it a GOAT. Most of her titles are subordinaty, reasons are - weak game field on AO in her time and most of her results come from time before professionalization of tennis.
What difference did the professionalization of tennis make to women's tennis?
 
#30
Winning SIX consecutive slams while dominating another GOAT candidate, and winning with ease on all surfaces was quite a feat. I'm not sure that period of domination from Wimbledon 83 through U.S. Open 86 has been or ever will be equalled.

I think if she's talked about less these days it's because people feel that she's likely to be the first to remind you of her greatness. She's also a bit of a smarty pants.

Ironically, she and Court may both end up being underrated in part because of things off the court that people don't like about them.
 
#31
Perhaps we are but now-a-days top players in singles do not play doubles. This trend probably only started about 20 years ago, but its become the norm. Bethanie Mattek-Sands was the number 1 doubles player for a long time and couldn't even consistently stay in the top 100 in singles. Doubles has more and more become more of a specialty branch of tennis, Mixed doubles is honestly nothing more than a fun doubles exhibition at this point where almost anything can happen.
I get your argument and have full sympathy but so many people today want to judge past players through today's emphasis on grand slams singles at the expense of all else, to the detriment of players prior to Graf generation , like Martina and Chris and Billie Jean who chose not to play in Aussies and French championships because they were not seen as important as back then to their legacy as World Team tennis/ year end championships. Yet they refuse to judge these last two generations of champions, based on a prior emphasis on doubles and mixed as part of a players legitimate legacy. they hold it against Martina that she did not compete and win in all those majors, but they do not hold it against Graf or Seles or Sharapova that that they barely showed up in doubles or mixed. I hate the hypocrisy of it.
 
#32
Martina's peak was absolutely insane. I think that her peak alone is enough to put her in the GOAT conversation. 14 straight wins against her nemesis(Evert). She also won 6 straight slam titles and went to 11 consecutive slam finals. But it's her winning pct in singles that absolutely blows my mind. She went 90-3 in 1982, 86-1 in 1983, 78-2 in 1984, 84-5 in 1985, and 89-3 in 1986. These records are insane.

Her 86-1 in 1983 was crazy. She won 16 singles titles that year. She didn't drop a single set in Wimbledon or the USO that year.

Martina didn't drop a set at Wimbledon from 1982-1984. That is absurd going 3 straight years at Wimbledon without dropping a set. As a matter of fact, Martina only dropped 2 sets in 6 years at Wimbledon while sweeping all 6 titles.

Martina in singles alone has a GOAT claim. Let's not forget that she skipped the AO several times. The AO wasn't held in 1986, which was a peak year for her.
... and we could go on and on. Her longevity has also not been matched, but I agree her peak level was amazing. Thank you for the post!
 
#33
I get your argument and have full sympathy but so many people today want to judge past players through today's emphasis on grand slams singles at the expense of all else, to the detriment of players prior to Graf generation , like Martina and Chris and Billie Jean who chose not to play in Aussies and French championships because they were not seen as important as back then to their legacy as World Team tennis/ year end championships. Yet they refuse to judge these last two generations of champions, based on a prior emphasis on doubles and mixed as part of a players legitimate legacy. they hold it against Martina that she did not compete and win in all those majors, but they do not hold it against Graf or Seles or Sharapova that that they barely showed up in doubles or mixed. I hate the hypocrisy of it.
Excellent point, and perhaps why some of these past champions will always be underrated … because we are measuring by a different standard these days. Unfortunately, I doubt this will ever change as I agree with others that doubles has become a “specialty” component of he game. Either way, I personally cannot deny the value of doubles performance in terms of “all-court” tennis. I get frustrated when Graf or Serena are listed as more “complete” than Navratilova. This makes no sense to me.
 
#34
I don’t think Navratilova is underrated by anyone who knows tennis beyond Roger and Serena. Her achievements are astounding and she did a lot to grow the game in the 90s.

I don’t know if there’s a word for it so we’ll call it Recency Bias. We tend to overrate the new shiny thing and forget how it really compares to something from the past. Also the game is so different now that we tend to forget how someone’s game might compare to the current crop of players.

But for my money she’s gotta be a top 5 women’s player at least and probably a top 5 player for either sex. Her longevity and commitment to the game beyond her utter dominance at peak level really make her stand out.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#35
Here's another thing about Martina. Despite being past her peak, She played the best players quite tough.

Old woman Martina(ages 31-36) from 1988-1993 played peak Graf tough. Sure, Peak Graf got the better of Martina by going 5-2 vs Martina. But none of Graf's wins were won in straight sets, even during Graf's insane 1988 season.

Similarly, Seles from 1991-1993(ages 34-36 for Martina) was 7-4 vs Martina.

Post-prime Martina still played peak heavyweights quite tough.
 
#36
doubles are not counted when assessing who is the goat player simply because it depends on luck of the draw on who your partner is. there is a reason singles is the one that carries the most weight, if not all the weight in deciding. it shows how tough YOU are, who good YOUR game is. you get no help from anyone. this is why the doubles results of people like navratilova, court and king are not considered when deciding who is the goat, or else they would be the goats by a huge margin followed by serena graf and evert.

Again, Martina is one of those 5-6 female players who belong at the highest echelon of the the game's greatness. she has many reasons why she could be considered the goat, just like all the other ladies in that company. so no, she isnt underrated, and anyone who knows tennis history would be a fool to underrate her, because she truly is a phenomenal player.
 
#37
doubles are not counted when assessing who is the goat player simply because it depends on luck of the draw on who your partner is. there is a reason singles is the one that carries the most weight, if not all the weight in deciding. it shows how tough YOU are, who good YOUR game is. you get no help from anyone. this is why the doubles results of people like navratilova, court and king are not considered when deciding who is the goat, or else they would be the goats by a huge margin followed by serena graf and evert.

Again, Martina is one of those 5-6 female players who belong at the highest echelon of the the game's greatness. she has many reasons why she could be considered the goat, just like all the other ladies in that company. so no, she isnt underrated, and anyone who knows tennis history would be a fool to underrate her, because she truly is a phenomenal player.
Your argument about doubles is valid to a point. However when a player has consistent success in doubles with multiple partners across multiple decades and on different surfaces etc. then there is something there. McEnroe Navaratilova, Hingis and Paes all come to mind when I think of that. But yes. If she hadn’t been an utterly dominant sinlgles player we wouldn’t even be talking about her.
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#38
Unfortunately, records against top-10 opponents only go back to 1984, which chops off two years of her insane prime and the rest of her career prior to that.

But Martina's record against the top 10 from 1984-1986 was absolutely insane.

Martina's records vs top 10

1984 16-2, .889. Both losses went the distance. 12 of her 16 wins were in straight sets
1985 26-4, .867.
1986 37-2, .949. One loss was to the clay GOAT EEvert in the FO final(3 set loss). The other was to Steffi
1987 14-8, .636. Martina was 30-31 years old this year. This is past her prime
1988 20-5, .800
1989 13-6, .684. This is a great record, considering that she was 32-33 years old
1990 9-5, .643
1991 11-5, .688
1992 7-5, .583
1993 5-2, .714
1994 2-5, .286

It took until 1994(ages 37-38) for Martina to stop winning the majority of her matches against top 10 players. The first person that I thought of is Roger Federer. Let's take a look:

Age 30-37 seasons, records vs top 10:

Federer, 2011-2018: 81-51, .614
Martina, 1986-1993: 116-38, .753
Serena: 2011-2018: 70-14, .833

Martina played through Seles' entire peak through a big chunk of Steffi's peak. She also played Evert 13 times(Evert was ranked in the top 3 12 times and top 4 once).

Given the fact that tennis players are playing much better in their 30's now than ever before, Martina was one of the best old players ever.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#39
Perhaps it is because no one includes her doubles slam titles when totalling her "Grand Slams".

Martina's slam totals are
18 + 31 + 10 = 59 total slam titles

Serena's slam totals are
23 + 14 + 2 = 39 total slam titles

Are we too slam-biased and singles-centric? Methinks we are.
OFFICIALLY, like it or not, Court is credited with 62 combined slams.
 
#41
Underrated definitely compared to Graf and Serena (Margaret Court is the most overrated).

I mean her and Evert splitting slams like that, and still being in the vicinity near the top is just sick. It's like Fed with Nadal during the same time frame, can you imagine how many more slams the other party would have? Serena is incredible but she really hasn't had other legendary players in her era (aside her older sister and Henin very briefly)
 
#42
Underrated definitely compared to Graf and Serena (Margaret Court is the most overrated).

I mean her and Evert splitting slams like that, and still being in the vicinity near the top is just sick. It's like Fed with Nadal during the same time frame, can you imagine how many more slams the other party would have? Serena is incredible but she really hasn't had other legendary players in her era (aside her older sister and Henin very briefly)
I cannot think of an era where two legitimate GOAT candidates had to split their rewards and still get sufficient traction to gain such a legacy. You really have to feel for the rest of the top tenners from 1978-1986, who never got enough sunlight to reach the lower branches of their canopy. Big match play requires practice and the occasional confidence boost of real unequivocal success . Except for Austin and Mandlikova, virtually nobody of that generation got any at all. When those tall oaks finally began to rot, up came Steffi Graf to block the rays again!
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#43
I cannot think of an era where two legitimate GOAT candidates had to split their rewards and still get sufficient traction to gain such a legacy. You really have to feel for the rest of the top tenners from 1978-1986, who never got enough sunlight to reach the lower branches of their canopy. Big match play requires practice and the occasional confidence boost of real unequivocal success . Except for Austin and Mandlikova, virtually nobody of that generation got any at all. When those tall oaks finally began to rot, up came Steffi Graf to block the rays again!
All of which goes to show that besides Mandlikova, occasionally and Austin, very briefly, Martina and Evert had very weak competition. During her career Court had to deal with multiple slam winners: Bueno-7, king-12, Darlene Hard-3, Ann Jones-3, Wade-3, Richey-2, Lesley Turner Bowery-2, Angela Mortimer-3, and other slam winners. Also, in that era there were more grass and clay court specialists. This is not to say that Court is necessarily the GOAT, but certainly, she was not overrated.
 
#44
All of which goes to show that besides Mandlikova, occasionally and Austin, very briefly, Martina and Evert had very weak competition. During her career Court had to deal with multiple slam winners: Bueno-7, king-12, Darlene Hard-3, Ann Jones-3, Wade-3, Richey-2, Lesley Turner Bowery-2, Angela Mortimer-3, and other slam winners. Also, in that era there were more grass and clay court specialists. This is not to say that Court is necessarily the GOAT, but certainly, she was not overrated.
Depends how you look at it.
Maybe you should give Evert and Navratilova some credit for keeping their competition frustrated and under confident . They kept driving each other to greater and greater heights of performance, constantly refueling their rivalry, and retooling their physical, tactical and mental games. Their unique rivalry simply refused to allow either player a sense of complacency in their position as number 1, denying the next generation of players any footholds, cracks, plateaus on which to climb higher. This second generation did not die from a fall off the mountain they tried to climb. Evert and Navratilova bullied them out of their rations and drove them out of the camp site.
 
#45
NONE, but some here refuse to accept reality, either out of ignorance or bias.
So you believe that the field of a 1950s/1960s women's slam was equally as strong as that of a slam today, when competitors from all nations of the world compete due to ease of participation and higher salaries?

Interesting viewpoint you have there.

(PS. I understand there was technically no pro/amateur split in the womens' game as there was in the mens'. But don't pretend that everything has remained the same in the womens' game since 1968)
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#46
So you believe that the field of a 1950s/1960s women's slam was equally as strong as that of a slam today, when competitors from all nations of the world compete due to ease of participation and higher salaries?

Interesting viewpoint you have there.

(PS. I understand there was technically no pro/amateur split in the womens' game as there was in the mens'. But don't pretend that everything has remained the same in the womens' game since 1968)
In reality, players should only be ranked or judged by the era they played it. From about 61-73, Court was the best of her era, followed by BJK and Maria Bueno. From about 74-90, Evert and Navratilova were the best of that era, followed by Goolagong and Mandlikova. One should not penalize players of era's when the draws were not as large as today, as tennis is more popular today than in the Court era and before. IMHO: Court, Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Seles and Serena are about equal in greatness. I include Seles, because, if not for the stabbing, I am sure she would have won more slams and Graf would probably won a few less.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
#47
In reality, players should only be ranked or judged by the era they played it. From about 61-73, Court was the best of her era, followed by BJK and Maria Bueno. From about 74-90, Evert and Navratilova were the best of that era, followed by Goolagong and Mandlikova. One should not penalize players of era's when the draws were not as large as today, as tennis is more popular today than in the Court era and before. IMHO: Court, Navratilova, Evert, Graf, Seles and Serena are about equal in greatness. I include Seles, because, if not for the stabbing, I am sure she would have won more slams and Graf would probably won a few less.
Yep. Never was a fan of Seles, but she was dominating the women's tennis before she was stabbed. She wasn't as athletically gifted as Graf, or Navratilova, but she just hit so hard.. on all of her shots. She deserves more respect, imo.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
#48
By the way, how is Navratilova underrated? Her attitude on things can be questioned, but her accomplishments cannot be questioned. She was one of, if not the best, player ever to play the game. I thought at one point she was good enough to beat some male pros because she played so well effortlessly.
 
#49
NONE, but some here refuse to accept reality, either out of ignorance or bias.
It is ridiculous to claim that the GS titles from of the 1930s, 1950s are as valuable as the titles from of the 1980s, 1990s, when already female tennis players were professionals.
You might be interested to know that Wikipedia also divides the history of women's tennis on Pre-Open era and Open era.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Grand_Slam_women's_singles_champions#Champions_by_year (look at 1968)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Grand_Slam_women's_singles_champions#Open_Era_(2_or_more)
 
#50
So you believe that the field of a 1950s/1960s women's slam was equally as strong as that of a slam today, when competitors from all nations of the world compete due to ease of participation and higher salaries?

Interesting viewpoint you have there.

(PS. I understand there was technically no pro/amateur split in the womens' game as there was in the mens'. But don't pretend that everything has remained the same in the womens' game since 1968)
The point may be that it took time, a LOT of time, for the impact you describe, to fully develop. We can intelligently talk about the immediate impact of that 10,000 dollar check for winning or being a finalist/ semifinalist, based on tournament performance in an 1970 tournament , an intermediate impact on the next generation after the checks started making a difference in training, coaching and conditions still only at the top 20 player level and competition for name players drew competitive compensation in large venues, and a larger and truly impactful third generation of players where money flowed more broadly and deep into the draw and sport rewarding real investment. We can also talk about the tangential but substantial impact of television rights, of advertising contractual revenue, and the impact of an independent sponsorship contracts between corporations and players ( the Nike or Lipton tea commericial)

What we cannot do with intellectual honestly is declare that beginning in the seventies all these impacts manifestly happened upon the tour like some universal big bang as one poster here would like. this poster categorizes Margaret Courts 1970 RG win to Wills 1932 , and Evert's 1974 RG win to Graf's1987 or Serena's title there. Nobody coming up the ranks in the mid seventies providing whatever depth on the tour back then, got much benefit from Chris, Evonne and Martina's relatively substantial rewards. You still had to have wealthy parents, national patronage and investment from a highly developed country, or a hell of a lot of luck to afford to access decent coachy, afford the equipment and the travel expenses to be a part of the tour.
 
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